Ford to Cut C-Max Mileage Rating by 10%

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On Thursday afternoon, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is expected to announce that its C-Max hybrid’s mileage rating will be cut from a combined 47 miles per gallon (mpg) to 43 mpg according to a report in The Detroit News. The announcement from Ford is reportedly scheduled for 4:30 p.m., after the markets close for the day.

The mileage rating for the C-Max hybrid was called into question in late December last year when a Consumer Reports published a story claiming that in its tests the car’s actual mileage rating was a combined 37 mpg, and the mileage rating for the Ford Fusion was 39 mpg combined, not 47 mpg as the both cars’ stickers claimed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said at the time that it would review the mileage ratings for the C-Max and Fusion models.

The EPA is believed to be ready to announce on Friday that it will revise the procedures on how mileage ratings are assigned to all hybrids. Under the current rules Ford could claim the mileage rating of 47 mpg for its Fusion hybrid for the C-Max as well because both cars are members of the same family of vehicles and are about the same size. That rule, while appropriate for conventionally powered vehicles, is not as effective for hybrids. The Detroit News did not indicate whether Ford would change the mileage rating for its Fusion model.

Last November, the U.S. EPA forced Hyundai/Kia to change the labeling on their new cars to reflect a change to the estimated fuel economy rating of different models by up to six mpg.

Ford has been sued by many C-Max and Fusion owners seeking punitive damages for the inflated mileage ratings.

Ford shares are down 3.3% at $16.33 in a 52-week range of $9.25 to $17.68.