Ford is waiting to see if it will be facing several class action lawsuits over its mileage ratings – three of which were filed in late April. Suits filed in federal courthouses in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and California claim Ford is overstating the average mileage ratings for its 2013 Ford C-Max and Fusion Hybrids.
Marianne Cibeu, a Massachusetts resident, filed for a federal class action lawsuit claiming she’s only getting 32 miles per gallon in her Ford C-Max hybrid despite the EPA/Ford rating of 47 mpg. As you can see in the complaint filed in a US District Court, the suit is asking for $5 million in damages for Cibeu and all Massachusetts buyers of 2013 C-Max and Fusion hybrids.
“Plaintiffs purchased a Fusion Hybrid or C-Max Hybrid, only to be stuck with under-performing, less valuable vehicles that inflict higher fuel costs on their owners.”
In California, two law firms combined their cases against Ford for making “false and misleading” claims. When we first reported on the case, back in December, there were reportedly hundreds of C-Max and Fusion Hybrid owners who’d joining the lawsuit. Not much later, Consumer Reports conducted extensive tests for both hybrids and found their performance to be significantly worse than the US Environmental Protection Agency mileage ratings. A similar case has been filed in US District Court in Philadelphia. “Plaintiffs are some of the tens of thousands of consumers who purchased a Fusion Hybrid or C-Max Hybrid, only to be stuck with under-performing, less valuable vehicles that inflict higher fuel costs on their owners,” according to the complaint.
So far, the wave of lawsuits hasn’t hurt sales of the C-Max or Fusion Hybrid, though it’s still early in the legal battle. The EPA, which determines (sort of) the mileage numbers Ford and other automakers put on window stickers, says that it’s confident the ratings of both Ford vehicles are sound but will review them. Both Ford and the EPA have emphasized real-world mileage results are completely dependent on how the driver operates the vehicle. That hasn’t gone over well with people filing class action lawsuits.
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By Jon LeSage