First lawsuit over gas mileage claims of 2013 Ford hybrids

Lawsuit says fuel economy claims for C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid are 'false and misleading.' Ford says cars can deliver 47 m.p.g. with right driving style.

Ford/AP/File
This undated image provided by Ford shows the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid. A Roseville, Calif., Ford owner is suing the automaker for 'false and misleading' claims about the fuel economy of the Fusion and C-Max hybrids.

It isn't just Hyundai and Kia in deep water over misleading MPG claims--now Ford is the subject of a lawsuit over the MPG of its hybrid models.

The federal lawsuit concerns the fuel economy of its most recent hybrid models, the C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid. Filed on December 7, the lawsuit says Ford's marketing campaign highlighting the vehicles' economy is "false and misleading".

According to Consumer Reports, plaintiff Richard Pitkin of Roseville, California, wants Ford to reimburse him and other owners the purchase price, and rescind sales of vehicles purchased in California.

It also seeks to stop what the lawsuit calls "false advertisements", and wants Ford to carry out an informational campaign to correct what it calls "misrepresentations and omissions".

Ford's issues aren't dissimilar to those faced by Korean duo Hyundai and Kia, both of which were found to be mis-stating EPA fuel consumption figures on a wide range of models.

The EPA ordered both makes to correct their advertised figures, and both companies have set up a system to reimburse owners misled by the inaccurate figures. Both companies are involved in similar lawsuits from disgruntled owners.

Ford has maintained that each car's official 47 mpg is still possible with the right driving style. Despite escalating coverage of the issues with real-world fuel economy, sales for both models have remained high,

We noted back in November that the new hybrids didn't appear to be meeting their official fuel consumption figures, of 47 mpg combined.

Consumer Reports then confirmed this in early December, recording figures a full 20 percent lower than EPA during their own tests.

Ford has confirmed it is aware of the lawsuit, "but cannot discuss pending litigation."

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