News

Ford To Pay Out $19 Million Over False Advertising Claims

Ford has faced its fair share of lawsuits over the years, including several related to fuel economy claims. Most recently, a fuel economy related false advertising lawsuit focusing on the Ford F-150 and Ford Ranger was dismissed in a Michigan court, though another filed back in 2013 relating to the Ford Fusion and C-Max Hybrid models has been in litigation ever since. Now, Reuters is reporting that Ford will be forced to pay out $19.2 million over false advertising claims related to the fuel economy and max payload capacity ratings of 2013–2014 C-Max Hybrid and 2011–2014 Ford Super Duty pickups.

The lawsuit involved 40 states and the District of Columbia, alleging that Ford overstated the distance the C-Max hybrid could travel on a tank of gas, as well as implying that driving style had no affect on fuel economy. Ford also ran advertisements that touted its hybrid vehicles as having superior fuel economy to rivals, even when that apparently wasn’t the case. In 2013, Ford lowered its fuel economy ratings for the C-Max hybrid by seven miles-per-gallon and sent owners a check for $550 to compensate. Additionally, the lawsuit claimed that Ford used a deceptive methodology to determine its payload capacity figures for the Super Duty.

“For years, Ford advertised impressive fuel economy and payload capacity for its cars and trucks,” Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said. “Unfortunately, these figures were not based in reality, leaving customers with vehicles that did not meet their standards.” “In calculating the maximum payload capacity of its vehicles, the investigation found, Ford employed a truck configuration it did not actually intend to sell to individual buyers – one that omitted such standard items as the spare wheel, tire and jack, radio, and center console (which was replaced by a mini-console),” added acting New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin.

In addition to the payout, the settlement for this lawsuit prohibits Ford from making false or misleading advertising claims concerning the estimated fuel economy or payload capacity of any new motor vehicle moving forward.

We’ll have more on all Ford lawsuits soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford lawsuit news and continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

View Comments

  • I'm not sure how to feel about this. I can see a manufacturer exaggerating the fuel econ ratings, as many do, even if they aren't caught.
    I ALSO see how most people drive and it's no wonder they don't get anywhere close to what the vehicle is rated for. Most people just drive the car and expect it to get the rating, regardless of how they actually drive. Late throttle release, late braking, excessive throttle on takeoff, and speeding all sap away from what one can expect and that's not even quite a full list of the things that can cause poor fuel economy.
    In this case, I think it's not as big a deal as people are going to make it seem, but I still don't appreciate any dishonesty from a company. In kind, people as individuals should also be honest and I expect no less from individuals, especially if they themselves expect everyone to be truthful with them.
    As far as payload is concerned, it could easily result in people underestimating how much their equipment actually weighs, as most people don't check with a scale and also tend to just hook up whatever it is that they're towing. That, in combination with people's inability to accept responsibility for their actions, it wouldn't surprise me if they just blamed the truck. As with the fuel economy issue, I also expect Ford to own up to it, as I don't think everyone and their mom were lying about it.

    • Agreed. I got one of those 500 plus checks and am on my 4th CMax now, currently a Plug In. They are amazing vehicles, top rated used vehicle getting 50+ MPG. You get in most people's cars and can't believe how they drive gas wasteful.

      • Your amazing vehicle is no longer available. Ford discontinued it after the 2018 model year due to low demand, so much for this amazing vehicle.

      • We bought new a '13 C-Max Hybrid ... Herbie as he named routinely delivers 49 to 57 mpg around town, and 45 to 50 mpg on the interstate. If you master the art of the slow start an stop you will get the above mpg numbers ... drive like a idiot who stole it, you won't get those high mpg numbers. When the Maverick fiasco gets settled (made in USA not Mexico) I plan to park a XLT beside my C-Max. As far as hybrids go ... look up Ford + UK and look at the beautiful S-Max & Galaxy Hybrids ... would love a Galaxy ! If those forcing the lawsuit would talk to me ... no need for a lawsuit.

    • Right You Are, Especially G.M. They Lied About Their 2016 Chevy Traverse.
      NHTSA Don't Give A Sh**. We the consumer have no one to look after our interest and protect us from the Car manufactures prey on the consumers.

  • I was one of main 50 plaintiffs of the F150 EPA lawsuit, representing Nebraska.
    The attorneys didn't bother to let me know by phone/mail/email that the case was
    dismissed by Judge Cox. I had to read it here on FA. My 2018 averaged 12.6 mpg
    and although I loved the truck, I just traded for a '22 Timberline. Not looking back.

  • no big deal to ford. guess who will pay for it, and is already paying for it. the consumer.

  • $19 Million and where is it going? I certainly hope it's not to our failed government. The owners of every Ford vehicle claimed in those suits should be compensated.

  • I still have my 2013 C-Max and love it. I get 40mpg and have started looking for a new vehicle but don’t want a plug in hybrid and can’t find anything that gives me such great mpg. I remember getting the $550 check and hope they send me some more mailbox money :-)

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