Ford False Fuel Economy Ratings for All Models Class Action

Ford has been sued in several class actions with allegations of false fuel economy numbers, first relating to its Ranger, and then relating to its F-150. This class action widens the field by not limiting the claims to any particular model of vehicle. The complaint only specifies vehicles of model years 2017 to 2019 “that were marketed and sold with overstated fuel economy…”

A large factor in the desirability of a vehicle is how much fuel it uses. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards for calculating the number of miles per gallon vehicles get, so that the information is “reliable, repeatable, and fair across different car models.” 

However, the EPA does not actually perform the testing. That is left to the automakers, with the EPA only the purported results for 15 to 20% of vehicles. The automakers are therefore largely on the honor system to properly calculate and report the fuel economy of most of their vehicles.

Tests are performed on a stationary dynamometer. Vehicles are placed on this machine and run through driving routines. However, since the conditions are not identical to driving on a road, so calculations must be adjusted to reflect on-road operation as well as road load. Road load reflects factors like friction, aerodynamic drag, and tire-related losses.

Ford promoted the fuel economy of its vehicles, claiming, for example, that its Ranger had “best-in-class EPA-estimated city fuel economy rating of any gasoline-powered four-wheel-drive midsize pickup.”

However, on February 21, 2019, the same day it filed its Form 10-K for the past fiscal year, Ford issued a press release claiming, “In September, a handful of employees raised a concern through our Speak Up employee reporting channel regarding the analytical modeling that is part of our U.S. fuel economy and emissions compliance practices.”

While the matter has yet to be completely resolved, Ford has hired an outside firm to investigate and the EPA is paying attention. The complaint says, “Ford is no stranger to fuel economy error…” For example, in 2013, it says, Ford overstated the fuel economy for its C-Max hybrid model by seven miles per gallon. In 2014, it lowered fuel-economy ratings for six other models and provided compensation to customers.

The complaint alleges breaches of warranties, fraud, and violation of state consumer protection laws, among other things.

A class and two subclasses have been proposed for this action. 

  • The National Class is all persons in the US who bought or leased a Ford of model years 2017 to 2019 marketed or sold with overstated fuel economy. 
  • The Texas Subclass is all persons who did so in Texas.
  • The Washington Subclass is all persons who did so in Washington. 
Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Ford False Fuel Economy Ratings for All Models Complaint

October 3, 2019

Ford has been sued in several class actions with allegations of false fuel economy numbers, first relating to its Ranger, and then relating to its F-150. This class action widens the field by not limiting the claims to any particular model of vehicle. The complaint only specifies vehicles of model years 2017 to 2019 “that were marketed and sold with overstated fuel economy…”

ford_false_fuel_economy_ratings_compl.pdf

Case Event History

Ford False Fuel Economy Ratings for All Models Complaint

October 3, 2019

Ford has been sued in several class actions with allegations of false fuel economy numbers, first relating to its Ranger, and then relating to its F-150. This class action widens the field by not limiting the claims to any particular model of vehicle. The complaint only specifies vehicles of model years 2017 to 2019 “that were marketed and sold with overstated fuel economy…”

ford_false_fuel_economy_ratings_compl.pdf
Tags: Breach of Contract, Deceptive Advertising, False Mileage or Emissions Figures, Fraud