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Ford ups fuel use figures for US hybrids – again
Another test error leads to more US Ford models upping fuel use
16 Jun 2014
By BARRY PARK
FORD has increased the fuel use of a number of its vehicles sold in the US – including hybrids – after admitting it had made a mistake in how it assessed the numbers.
The move late last week adds another six vehicles to a handful that were also re-rated late last year in response to customer feedback that the fuel use numbers posted on the cars’ windscreens did not reflect the real-world figures.
Vehicles to adjust their fuel use ratings include most versions of the Fiesta light car, and a number of plug-in hybrid models after they were re-tested by the US Environmental Protection Agency, which helped Ford to identify an “error” in the way the vehicles were assessed.
The move also follows angry blog posts from Ford customers complaining that the fuel-use figures they were seeing were not reflecting what they were experiencing at the pump.
Under the new tests, fuel use was up to 10 percent higher than the previously posted numbers. According to Ford, it contacted the EPA to warn it of the errors, which relate to the way aerodynamics were assessed in virtual fuel tests.
“Upon further testing, Ford also discovered an error specific to how we correlate wind tunnel results ... Ford’s error was the result of a recent process change, which the company has since corrected,” it said in a statement announcing the revised fuel use figures.
Petrol-electric hybrid and plug-in models affected include the Ford C-Max compact people-mover, a version of the Ford Fusion that will be sold here as the next-generation Mondeo mid-size car, and the Lincoln MKZ mid-size sedan.
Ford said the 200,000 US customers affected by the re-rating would be compensated with a “goodwill” payment ranging between $US125 to $US1050 ($A133-$A1117).
Last week’s re-rating is the second for Ford, and follows on from South Korean car-makers Kia and Hyundai re-rating about 900,000 cars sold in the US after similar complaints from customers.
The Blue Oval said it had also looked at how other models were assessed to determine if they needed to be re-rated.
“Ford reviewed its entire line up to determine the vehicles that required further testing and revised the fuel economy ratings for the affected vehicles.
No other fuel economy ratings adjustments are planned,” it said.
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