Ford Motor Co. is lowering the fuel economy ratings on several of its cars touted for their fuel efficiency.
It’s the second time in less than a year that Ford has had to make cuts after overstating mileage numbers. The New York Times said the new mileage reductions will impact six 2013 and 2014 models, most of them hybrids.
About 215,000 customers who own or lease the vehicles will be compensated for the errors. The refunds are between $125 and $1,050, depending on how much customers’ mileage numbers were overstated. The Times said:
The vehicles include four versions of the 2014 Ford Fiesta, as well as the hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the 2013-14 C-Max and Ford Fusion and the hybrid version of the 2013-14 Lincoln MKZ. Most of the vehicles’ combined city and highway rating will be lowered by one to five miles per gallon; the MKZ will be reduced the most, by seven miles per gallon, to 38 from 45.
Last August, Ford had to cut the C-Max rating by four miles per gallon.
According to The Associated Press, Ford discovered the issue in March after conducting internal tests. Ford said it notified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which oversaw the retesting of several vehicles’ fuel economy.
Chris Grundler, head of the EPA’s office of transportation and air quality, told AP that the agency is looking into Ford’s oversight.
He also said the EPA is considering requiring all automakers to do the same kind of internal testing of production vehicles that Ford is doing. Grundler said not all companies do fuel economy testing after vehicles are in production.
According to AP, Ford product development chief Raj Nair said the engineers’ wind resistance calculation was off, likely causing the error.
“This was our mistake, plain and simple, and we apologize to our customers for it,” he said. “We are taking steps to improve our process so this doesn’t happen again.”
The Times said Ford has agreed to more stringent fuel economy testing standards in an effort to ensure this type of problem doesn’t happen again.
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