Ford has voluntarily lowered the fuel economy label for its 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tested the vehicle. The company also has announced it is upgrading the 2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid, which will go on sale in December.
According to the EPA, the agency tested the C-Max following consumer complaints that the vehicle did not achieve the label values of 47 mpg for highway, city and combined driving. The new fuel economy estimates for the Ford 2013 C-Max are 43 mpg combined, 45 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.
Consistent with EPA regulations, Ford had based the 2013 Ford C-Max label on testing of the related Ford Fusion hybrid, which has the same engine, transmission and test weight. Therefore, both vehicles had the same fuel economy label values. Going forward, Ford says it will test and label its C-MAX Hybrid model separately. Testing to generate a label for the 2014 C-MAX Hybrid is not yet complete.
In addition to the relabeling, Ford says it is making a goodwill payment to current C-MAX Hybrid owners for the estimated average fuel cost of the difference between the two labels. Customers who purchased their vehicle will receive a check from Ford for $550. Customers who leased their vehicle will receive a check for $325. Existing customers will be notified by mail, and Ford says it is working with dealers to relabel vehicles on dealer lots.
Meanwhile, Ford says it is also upgrading the 2014 C-MAX for better fuel economy. According to the company, the upgrades build on powertrain software updates Ford announced last month for the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid. Ford will also include the following hardware changes on the 2014 C-MAX:
– Gearing changes that result in a more efficient transmission drive ratio;
– New hood seal, front and rear tire deflectors, A-pillar moldings and the addition of rear lift gate deflectors to improve vehicle aerodynamics; and
– New engine oil with reduced friction.
The company says the enhancements to the 2014 C-MAX Hybrid are expected to improve customers' on-road fuel economy, especially at highway speeds.