Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

EPA to test Ford fuel mileage

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THE Environmental Protection Agency plans to review Consumer Reports test data indicating two Ford Motor Co. hybrids don't get the fuel economy claimed on the window stickers of the vehicles.

Except to confirm it was seeking more information, the agency, which monitors fuel-economy ratings, declined to discuss the scope of its review of Ford's mileage claims for the Fusion and C-Max hybrids.

Earlier this year, the EPA tested multiple Hyundai and Kia models that had become the focus of consumer complaints about fuel-economy ratings, and ordered changes to the labels. The agency said Hyundai and Kia overstated the fuel economy on more than a third of the vehicles they had sold in recent years.

The South Korean automakers issued an apology and said they would give special debit cards to nearly 1 million owners of the affected models to make up for the difference in the lower miles per gallon logged by the vehicles.

Ford said the Fusion and C-Max hybrids get 47 mpg for all measures, including city, highway and combined ratings.

Consumer Reports, however, was unable to replicate those results in its tests.

"After running both vehicles through Consumer Reports real-world tests, CR's engineers have gotten very good results. But they are far below Ford's ambitious triple-47 figures," the magazine, which operates its own testing center in Connecticut, said Thursday.

In the Consumer Reports tests, the Fusion hybrid delivered 39 mpg overall and 35 and 41 in city and highway conditions, respectively.

The C-Max hybrid achieved 37 mpg overall, with 35 and 38 for city and highway, respectively.

"These two vehicles have the largest discrepancy between our overall mpg results and the estimates published by the EPA that we've seen among any current models," the magazine said.

Ford responded in a statement: "Early C-MAX Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid customers praise the vehicles and report a range of fuel economy figures, including some reports above 47 mpg. This reinforces the fact driving styles, driving conditions, and other factors can cause mileage to vary."

 

-- Los Angeles Times

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 8, 2012 B10

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