Ford has to adjust the fuel consumption ratings for its 2013 and 2014-model year hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as most 2014-model year Fiestas.
The automaker said this week it identified an error with fuel consumption ratings on certain vehicles through its internal testing and notified EPA in the U.S.
The units affected include the C-MAX hybrid and plug-in hybrid, Fusion hybrid and plug-in hybrid, MKZ hybrid and the entire Fiesta lineup.
The MKZ experienced the biggest change with a combined highway/city rating jump from 4.2 litres/100 km to 5.2 litres/100 km.
EPA retested the vehicles to determine the correct fuel consumption ratings resulting in changes made to published ratings.
Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO apologize for the error in a press release issued Thursday. He noted the company would provide goodwill payments to affected owners.
“We also are taking steps to improve our processes and prevent issues like this from happening again.”
“This is our error. When we see an issue, we address it,” said Raj Nair, Ford group V-P of global product development.
Ford said its error was specific to a factor called “total road load horsepower” or TRLHP. TRLHP is a vehicle-specific resistance level used in vehicle dynamometer testing that determines fuel consumption ratings. 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,” the company said.
As a result, Ford has communicated to its dealers that new fuel consumption EnerGuide labels will be available in approximately 10 business days and that dealers may continue selling the vehicles until the new labels are received.
Ford estimates that approximately 13,000 of these vehicles have been sold or leased to customers in Canada. Affected Ford and Lincoln owners and lessees in Canada will receive a goodwill payment for the estimated average fuel cost of the difference between the two fuel consumption labels.
Affected Canadian fleet owners will be contacted by their local Ford representatives.