We Hear: EPA Studying Whether 2013 Ford C-Max Fuel Economy Is Overrated

Based on claims from Consumer Reports and other reviewers, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to investigate whether the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid fails to achieve its 47/47/47 mpg (city/highway/combined) fuel-economy ratings. According to The Detroit News, the EPA could levy civil punishments against Ford if it determines that the C-Max Hybrid doesn’t match its claimed 47-mpg rating.

Consumer Reports was among several publications to sound the alarm about poor fuel economy. In its testing, CR averaged between 33 and 39 mpg in a 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid. While those numbers are impressive, they fall far below the car’s 47-mpg rating. The magazine also said that the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid, which uses the same powertrain and is also rated at 47/47/47 mpg, averaged only 40 mpg in its testing. Green Car Reports corroborated the claim, saying that its testing showed a 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid managed just 40 mpg.

The EPA warns that even though all vehicles must follow the same fuel-economy testing guidelines, real-world consumption can vary dramatically depending on how and where the vehicle is driven. Nonetheless, the agency told The Detroit News that it “will look at the report and data” to investigate Consumer Reports’ claims.

If it finds there is merit to the claims, the EPA could force Ford to adjust the fuel-economy ratings for its C-Max Hybrid. In March, for instance, the EPA pressured BMW to lower ratings for its 328i automatic by one mpg in the city and three mpg on the highway. The EPA independently tested a BMW 328i sedan and found lower consumption numbers than BMW’s test figures.

Automaker fuel-economy figures are under close scrutiny lately, in the wake of Hyundai and Kia’s admissions that many of its vehicles had inflated fuel-economy figures. The Korean automakers lowered their cars’ ratings — by as much as six mpg in some cases — and compensated owners with special debit cards good for gasoline purchases.

Source: The Detroit News

By Jake Holmes

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