Ford Reduces MPG Figures/Range On C-Max Energi, Fusion Energi – Compensation Checks Coming


At this point it should come as a shock to no one that the stated MPG figures on anything hybrid or plug-in hybrid from Ford were complete nonsense.  What is interesting is the all-electric ranges of the Energi twins has also dropped by about 10%

Repeated complaints about the fuel economy to the EPA on the Fusion Energi, C-Max Energi, along with the standard hybrid versions of both, as well as the Lincoln MKZ have prompted Ford to finally restate efficiency figures for both 2013 and 2014.

In attention to correcting the MPG numbers, which in some cases were off by as much as 7 miles per gallon, Ford is offering “goodwill payments to owners of the approximately 200,000 affected U.S. vehicles for the difference between the previous and revised ratings.” 

The amount of the payments vary from $200 to $1,050 , but in the case of the C-Max Energi a $775 rebate is being offered ($475 if leased) and $850 for the Fusion Energi ($525 if leased).   Full ‘checks in the mail’ chart by vehicle listing can be found below.

  • For the C-Max Energi, MPG is lowered to 38 from 43, while MPGe drops from 100 to 88, all electric range moves from 21 to 19 miles
  • For the Fusion Energi, MPG is lowered to 38 from 43, while MPGe drops from 100 to 88,  all electric range moves from 21 to 19 miles
Three Popular Fords And The C-Max Got A MPG Haircut On Thursday

Three Popular Fords And The C-Max Got A MPG Haircut On Thursday

Ford puts the blame for the errors on something called TRLHP or Total Road Load Horsepower, which they define as a “specific resistance level used in vehicle dynamometer testing that determines fuel economy ratings.”


The Ford Fusion Energi Loses 5 MPG, And Has MPGe Rating Cut From 100 to 88

The Ford Fusion Energi Loses 5 MPG, And Has MPGe Rating Cut From 100 to 88

TRLHP is established through engineering models that are validated through vehicle testing, including physical track tests referred to as coastdown testing.

Use of these engineering models is a common industry practice, consistent with EPA regulations. These models normally are more reliable and consistent than physical vehicle tests, which can exhibit variability.

As an ongoing practice, Ford conducts tests on production vehicles to validate its engineering models. Based on coastdown testing of the Fusion Hybrid, the company found the TRLHP did not match the values used for the dynamometer testing.

Upon further testing, Ford also discovered an error specific to how we correlate wind tunnel results into the TRLHP model. Ford’s error was the result of a recent process change, which the company has since corrected.

Ford has now validated through physical vehicle testing the TRLHP for the vehicles affected by this error and also has instituted enhanced validation tests for future vehicles to prevent reoccurrence of this error.

Naturally CEO and President Alan Mulally made a statement:

“Ford is absolutely committed to delivering top fuel economy and accurate information.  We apologize to our customers and will provide goodwill payments to affected owners. We also are taking steps to improve our processes and prevent issues like this from happening again.”


U.S. EPA-Estimated Fuel Economy Label Ratings and Goodwill Payments*
Model Year Vehicle Powertrain Revised(City, Highway, Combined) Previous(City, Highway, Combined) Lease Customers  Purchase
2014 Fiesta 1.0L GTDI M/T 31 / 43 / 36 32  / 45 /  37 $125 $200
1.6L A/T 27 / 37 / 31 29  / 39 /  32 $150 $250
1.6L SFE A/T 28 / 38 / 32 30  / 41 /  34 $275 $450
1.6L M/T 28 / 36 / 31 27  / 38 /  31 Combined MPG not affected Combined MPG not affected
2013-14 C-MAX Hybrid 42  / 37 / 40 45  / 40 /  43 $300 $475
Fusion Hybrid 44 / 41 / 42 47  / 47 /  47 $450 $775
MKZ Hybrid 38 / 37 / 38 45  / 45 /  45 $625 $1,050
Model Year Vehicle Powertrain Revised**(Charge Sustaining, Charge Depleting, EV Range) Previous**(Charge Sustaining, Charge Depleting, EV Range) Lease Customers  Purchase
2013-14 C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid 38 mpg  / 88 MPGe+ /19 mi EV range 43 mpg / 100 MPGe+  /21 mi EV range $475 $775
Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid 38 mpg  / 88 MPGe+  /19 mi EV range 43 mpg  / 100 MPGe+ /21 mi EV range $525 $850

*Bolded figures in the above chart represent the values used to determine the customer goodwill payment.

** Combined numbers only.  Revised EPA-estimated ratings: 40 city, 36 highway MPG; 95 city, 81 highway MPGe. Charge depleting range is 20 mi.  Previous EPA-estimated ratings: 44 city, 41 highway MPG; 108 city, 92 hwy MPGe. Previous charge depleting range was 21.   

+MPGe is the EPA equivalent measure of gasoline fuel efficiency for electric mode operation.

Category: Ford


30 responses to "Ford Reduces MPG Figures/Range On C-Max Energi, Fusion Energi – Compensation Checks Coming"
  1. offib says:

    88 MPGe. Now that’s pretty brutal for what it is.

  2. QCO says:

    Goes to show how important it is to have real world testing to validate the test modeling calculations. Interesting to note the Fiesta errors, which shows it was a systemic problem, not specifically related to electrification.

    Brings the Fusion Energi fuel economy more in line with the Volt, which is much more believable. Still pretty good for such a big car.

  3. Kent says:

    This is the second time Ford is doing this. Question: My friend has a 2013 C-Max Hybrid. She had already received a $550 check from Ford the last time Ford reduced the MPG numbers. Is she going to receive another check now?

    1. Nicole says:

      I have the same question as Kent. Are C-max owners getting a second rebate? This is the second time they have lowered our estimated mpg.

  4. pjwood says:

    This is tantamount to a settlement offer, for fraud. Mulallay wears this.

    If I remember, the math didn’t look great for the C-Max owners ($500/46mpg vs ~38), but the Fusion Energi, which is going to significantly run on electric, looks to more than compensate with its $850 rebate. Its as if they made the compensation proportionate to price, rather than the difference in realized/advertised fuel economy.

    I don’t see how it can be excused, no matter what they do. Real world figures are too easy to get.

    1. Spec9 says:

      It *IS* a settlement for fraud. No two ways about it.

  5. Spec9 says:

    I’m going to assume they cheated and they know it. This is merely an attempt to avoid an ugly class action lawsuit . . . but that will probably happen anyway. This is a way to buy off a lot of the potential claimants. (And they’ll probably get more money with this offer than they will with the class action suit.)

  6. David Murray says:

    The BIG news here, that I’m not seeing anyone address is the change in estimated EV range from 21 miles down to 19. It’s only 2 miles difference but somehow anything over 20 sounds a lot better than anything under 20.

    1. RichardC says:

      My C-Max Energi gets an EV range of 18 in the deepest winter and 26 in the summer. So a rating of 19 sounds very conservative to me.

      1. Puzzlegal says:

        We get 15-16 in the winter, and 21+ in the summer. We’ve definitely gone over 20 miles on a charge in ordinary driving. I am not feeling cheated by that stat.

        I get about 40mpg when I forget to charge the car (Cmax energi), (and a little less on the highway, when I am traveling farther than its electric range) so 43 seems a little high, but I’m not a hyper-miler, and I never get published mpg. Still not feeling cheated.

        Overall, I’m quite happy with the car. But I won’t turn down the check.

        1. Richard C says:


  7. David Murray says:

    Also, worth mentioning that getting 42 miles per gallon in the city on the C-Max or 44 for the Fusion hybrid is still very impressive. I know there are a lot of cars out there that advertise 40 mpg, but that is usually highway mileage. What people will actually get around town on their regular commutes is going to be significantly less than that.

    1. FFE says:

      David Murray, I just want to remind everyone that your statement is only your opinion and not fact: “What people will actually get around town on their regular commutes is going to be significantly less than that.” is Completely False. My FFE actual mileage around town on my regular commute is 999MPG. I pay nothing to charge after my 15 mile commute to work, and therefore the 999MPG. What is your actual experience with the PHEVs?

      1. David Murray says:

        I’m scratching my head as to how to even comment on that post of yours. First of all, I was talking about gasoline cars, not electric or even hybrid. Personally, we have a Chevy Volt and Leaf in the garage. I was talking about how manufacturers like to advertise the highway mileage. For example, how the Cruze is advertised as 40 mpg on the highway. So people will say, “why do I need a hybrid, when I can get 40mpg?” And what they fail to realize is that the Cruze will get significantly less mileage than that during regular in-town commuting, where a hybrid on the other hand will actually perform as advertised for in-town driving, if not better. So a real comparison is more like the Cruze getting 26 mpg in the city while the Prius would get nearly double that at around 50 mpg.

  8. Assaf says:

    Ok… I think now the outside chance that we might consider a Fusion Energi instead of a Leaf for our upcoming lease, has evaporated.

    1. FFY says:

      It shouldn’t. We have a 2013 Fusion Energi as our long-distance car. Over the year or so we’ve had it, average fuel consumption in hybrid mode has been about 43 MPG, and we get around 24 miles of EV range (measured). It’s an amazing car for what it is if you can live with the small trunk. I think the new MPG rating is understating the real performance. Looking forward to receiving my check though. 😉

      1. Assaf says:

        Thanks for the insight! But if it’s got a small trunk, then yet another reason for us not to take it.

        Whenever indeed we go far (meaning affordable BEVs become of limited utility), then we also go bulky (5 ppl, dog, stuff) and need lots of space.
        Might as well rent, or hang on to our 2001 clunker alongside the Leaf. Well, we’ll probably get rid of the clunker as soon as my son does his basic driving skill hours with it (hard to drive, good as practice!) which we’ve already started.

        1. FFY says:

          Yes, if you want to take more than 3 people plus luggage then the Fusion Energi is not the right car for you. The trunk is big enough for about 3 pieces of carry-on-size luggage and groceries, but any more than that and you need to use the back seat room (back seats fold down). We usually are no more than 2 persons in the car, so it’s perfect for us as second car for local errants in EV mode and long-distance car. It’s a very comfortable and well-equipped vehicle.

  9. kdawg says:

    So why would you buy a C-Max Energi over a Volt? It cost more, and you get less. Less EV range, and the same CS MPG. I guess for the bench seat in the back and more cargo space.. but that’s not saying much.. for me anyway.

    1. FFY says:

      The C-Max’ cabin is a lot more spacious and the seating position is higher. If it’s anything like our Fusion Energi, it also has a better real-world mileage in hybrid mode than the Volt despite the new EPA rating (and it doesn’t require premium gas).

      1. kdawg says:

        Saying it gets better MPG than what Ford & the EPA states, is equivalent to me saying the same thing about the Volt. We have to go by the ratings… that’s what they are for.

        So basically it just comes down to seating, which for me is orders of magnitude less important than AER. But like I said, that’s just my requirements.

        One other advantage I just thought of for the Energi’s is the 6.6kW charging, but again, for me is irrelevant since I overnight charge at 120V.

        1. David Murray says:

          Since when does the energi have 6.6kW charging? That’s the first I’ve heard of that. I believe it is the same or perhaps even less than the Volt. It only seems to charge faster because it has a smaller battery.

    2. Eric says:

      I own both 2012 Volt and 2013 C-Max Energi. I got the Cmax first Apr 2013 because it is much bigger inside and can easily carry the 4 of us plus the dog or 1 parent, 2 kids & 2 friends. I would get 22-24 miles AER and consistent 40-42 MPG highway or city (nice weather). But like FFY, looking forward to my check. I got the Volt new in Aug 2013 after they reduced price, found it advertised on chevy volt forum for 29,900 delivered. After Fed and PA state credit it was 19,400. Could not pass up safe electric motorcycle for me & 2 others. The 4 of us can’t fit comfortably in Volt.

    3. Puzzlegal says:

      I have a C-max, a friend has a volt. For my driving, the C-max is the better choice.

      1) the extra range of the volt isn’t all that valuable. Most of our trips are either local (80miles). So we wouldn’t get much benefit from the larger battery.
      2) the C-max gets better fuel efficiency when it is driving on gas. Since we would do that with either car, it makes a difference. My goal is to minimize total gas consumed, not maximize EV miles.
      3) the C-max is more spacious, has better storage or more seating. We can carry my husband’s bicycle in it, or my daughter’s cello, or 5 people for short distances.
      4) The C-max has a less crappy user interface. That last one is subjective, and honestly, they both have crappy user interfaces, but the C-max gives you options to control most everything that you can do by feel, without looking at the screen. It also has more controls the passenger can access while the driver is driving. And a better display on the back-up camera. Maybe not a huge deal, but it does make a difference in how pleasant the car is to drive.

  10. James B. says:

    I have had my Energi a year now: over 90% on electric with around 15000 miles driven.

    So far: 94.2 MPGe. I get around 20 miles on a charge. When it goes into hybrid mode, I still get in the low 50s. I don’t drive like grandma, but I don’t drive over 65 either. I <3 regen breaking…

  11. car service says:

    This new Energi looks pretty good. Economy is now a lot more important than other aspects such as speed.

  12. I already spent my $775 check. I thought it was a nice bribe, and I gladly took it.

  13. James Dvorak says:

    I purchased a 2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid advertised at 45/45/45. Almost a year later the best average I have is 36ish MPG. New ratings are still above what I am ever going to achieve – and I DO drive like grandma! The $1,050 check did help my disappointment, but still think it’s a bit of a bribe ;(

  14. Alex says:

    I got the check about a month ago. What’s awesome is that i have experienced getting an average of over 500mpg at times. Of course the difference is based on how long your daily commute is…

    I already made 10% on that $500 thanks to RSH!!