Less than a year after being slapped on the wrists for posting inaccurate MPG info on its cars, Ford could be on the hook for more than $100 million in payments to around 200,000 drivers of several additional vehicle models that were sold with overstated fuel economy ratings.
The car maker is also revising those ratings to more accurately reflect the miles per gallon customers would get.
The EPA says that Ford reported the problems with MPG estimates on several vehicles — 2013-14 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid; 2014 Ford Fiesta; 2013-14 Ford Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid; 2013-14 Ford C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrid — after an internal audit turned up discrepancies. The MPG estimates for these vehicles are being revised down anywhere from 1-5 miles per gallon, with the MKZ Hybrid being the outlier at 7 MPG lower than what Ford had originally stated.
The car maker has 15 days to update its window stickers on its existing inventory of cars to reflect the lower numbers.
Owners and lessees of affected vehicles will eventually receive payments ranging from $125 to $1,050, depending on the vehicle and whether it was purchased or leased. That means the total payouts will add up to somewhere between $20 million and $200 million, though Ford isn’t providing any estimates just yet.
As Detroit News points out, these revisions now shatter Ford’s recent marketing push about having eight models that get more than 40 MPG, as the reductions cut this total to only five models that can tout that level of fuel economy.
This is the second time in less than a year that Ford has ended up with MPG egg on its bumper.
In that instance, Ford paid out C-Max owners $550 each while lessees of the car got $325 each. Around 32,000 drivers were affected by that goof.
The EPA says it is investigating the cause of the continued errors in Ford MPG calculations, while the car maker says it has agreed to implement “enhanced testing procedures” under EPA oversight.
“That will help ensure consumers that similar issues won’t happen in the future,” the director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality tells Detroit News.