Current fuel economy rules allow vehicle manufacturers to apply the same fuel-mileage number to vehicles with similar sizes that are equipped with the same engine and transmission. Automakers only have to test the fuel-mileage ratings of the biggest-selling model in a category to apply the ratings to all other vehicles in that category. In this case that’s the Ford Fusion, which gets 47 miles to the gallon. This allowed Ford to use this rating for its C-Max vehicle as well. Claims that the C-Max doesn’t get 47 miles per gallon have resulted in Ford lowering its fuel-mileage rating to 43 miles per gallon. Ford is offering customers who have bought the current C-Max model $550 to make up for the mistake. People who have leased a current model C-Max can collect $325, reports The New York Times.
The change has caused the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take another look at gas-electric hybrid vehicles.
“What we found is the results for hybrids were very close to the label,” Chris Grundler, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, told The Wall Street Journal. “This is strictly a question of whether or not the Ford C-Max should have been tested separately.”