Mississippi will receive $252,066.74 from the settlement.
Attorney General Lynn Fitch today announced Mississippi’s participation in a 41-state settlement with Ford Motor Company regarding allegations that Ford falsely advertised the actual fuel economy of 2013 model year C-Max hybrids -2014 and 2011-2014 model year payload capacity. Super Duty Pickups. Mississippi will receive $252,066.74 from the settlement.
“Many Mississippians rely on their Ford trucks and cars for work and everyday life,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch, “and they should be able to rely on the company for truthful advertising about fuel economy, payload and fuel consumption. I’m glad Ford is working with states to improve their advertising practices. »
2013–2014 C-Max Hybrids
The Attorneys General’s investigation revealed that Ford made several misleading claims about the 2013-2014 C-Max Hybrids, including:
- Distort the distance consumers could travel on a single tank of gas;
- Marketing this style of driving would not impact real-world fuel economy; and,
- Claim superior real-world fuel economy over other hybrids.
At one point Ford ran a series of commercials called “Hybrid Games”, which were narrated as an Olympic sporting event and depicted the C-Max outperforming the Prius in a series of videos. The attorneys general allege the videos misrepresented that the C-Max vehicles offered superior fuel economy and real-world driving performance. Twice Ford had to lower the fuel economy rating of the 2013 C-Max, which was initially promoted to 47 mpg city and highway, but was eventually lowered to 42 mpg/city, 37 mpg/highway and 40 mpg/city-highway combined. This settlement corrects Ford’s misleading advertising practices and helps ensure that Ford will not make false or misleading advertising claims about the fuel economy of its vehicles.
2011–2014 Super Duty Pickups
Attorneys General also investigated Ford’s misleading and misleading “Best-in-Class” payload claims on its 2011-2014 Super Duty pickups, which include the F-250, F-350 and F-450 models, a range aimed at consumers transporting and towing heavy loads. In the world of truck advertising, claiming best-in-class payload is a coveted title. The attorneys general allege that Ford devised a deceptive methodology to calculate maximum payload capacity based on a hypothetical truck configuration that omitted standard items such as the spare tire, tire and jack, center console (in the replaced by a mini console) and the radio.
The trucks’ hypothetical payload capacity increased from about 154 to 194 pounds, just enough for Ford to advertise a misleading Best-in-Class payload. Ford only used this misleading strategy to calculate payload for advertising purposes, it did not use this strategy to calculate actual payload capacity of individual Super Duty pickup trucks. Although Ford announced that the best-in-class payload was available to all consumers, only fleet buyers (a limited class of companies that purchase multiple new vehicles each year for commercial purposes) could order trucks equipped with so as to be able to achieve the advertised payload capacity. Individual buyers couldn’t buy a Super Duty pickup that fulfilled Ford’s Best-in-Class payload claims.
The $19.2 million settlement included the attorneys general of Mississippi, Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, California, New Jersey, Missouri, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Ohio, Washington, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Massachusetts, Indiana, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Minnesota, Tennessee, Iowa, Kansas, Utah, Alabama, Nebraska, Kentucky, New Mexico, Connecticut, Arkansas, Nevada, West Virginia, North Dakota, Maine, District of Columbia and Rhode Island.