Attorney General Ford Announces Multistate Settlement with Ford Motor Company for Misleading Fuel Economy, Payload Claims

May 24, 2022

Carson City, NV – Today, Attorney General Aaron D. Ford announced a $19.2 million multistate settlement with Ford Motor Company regarding claims that the car company falsely advertised the real-world fuel economy of model year 2013–2014 C-Max hybrids and the payload capacity of model year 2011–2014 Super Duty pickup trucks. Nevada will receive $236,053.85 from the settlement.  

“Nevadans are looking to save at the pump and be environmentally conscious by purchasing more fuel-efficient cars,” saidAG Ford. “Companies should be held accountable for making claims about fuel economy and payload capacity when marketing these vehicles to consumers.”

2013–2014 C-Max Hybrids

The investigation by the Attorneys General revealed that the Ford Motor Company made several misleading representations about 2013–2014 C-Max hybrids including:

  • Misrepresenting the distance consumers could drive on one tank of gas;
  • Marketing that driving style would not impact real world fuel economy; and
  • Claiming superior real world fuel economy compared to other hybrids.

At one point, Ford Motor Company ran a series of advertisements called the “Hybrid Games,” which were narrated like an Olympic sporting event and depicted the C-Max outperforming the Prius in a series of videos. The attorneys general involved in the settlement allege that the videos deceptively reflected that C-Max vehicles offered superior real-world fuel economy and driving performance. The C-Max hybrid was initially promoted as 47 mpg in the city and highway. Ford Motor Company had to lower the vehicle’s fuel economy rating once in 2013 and again in 2014, to eventually 42 mpg/city, 37 mpg/highway and 40 mpg/city-highway mixed; impacting the model years 2013 and 2014 C-Max hybrid. This settlement corrects Ford Motor Company’s deceptive advertising practices and helps ensure that the company will not make false or misleading advertising claims about the fuel economy of its vehicles. 

2011–2014 Super Duty Pick-up Trucks

The attorneys general also investigated Ford Motor Company’s deceptive and misleading “Best-in-Class” payload claims on its 2011–2014 Super Duty pick-up trucks, which includes the F-250, F-350 and F-450 models, a line that caters to consumers hauling and towing heavy loads.

The attorneys general allege that Ford Motor Company’s methodology to calculate maximum payload capacity for advertising purposes was based on a hypothetical truck configuration that omitted standard items such as the spare wheel; tire and jack; center flow console (replacing it with a mini console); and radio. Although the company advertised the Best-in-Class payload as available to all consumers, only fleet purchasers (a limited category of businesses that purchase multiple new vehicles each year for commercial purposes) could order the special configuration of trucks.

The settlement was led by the attorneys general of Oregon, Texas, Illinois, Maryland, Vermont and Arizona, and joined by the attorneys general of 35 additional states and jurisdictions.