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Ford drops hybrid efficiency in line with real-world figures

To date, the carmaker has assessed its hybrids' fuel economy in line with EPA guidelines, but has faced complaints and a lawsuit that the official figures were not realistic in real-world use.

It will now begin voluntarily testing future models separately and, as a result, the C-MAX Hybrid’s official fuel economy will drop from 47mpg (56.4mpg Imperial) to 43mpg (51.6mpg Imperial).

The company said variations in fuel economy were greater for hybrids than for conventionally-powered models, because small differences in driver behavior could lead to the petrol engine being used more frequently.

Existing customers will be sent a goodwill payment to cover the difference in fuel economy resulting from the new test. Those who purchased the car outright will get $550 (£352), while leasing customers will get $325 (£208).

Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development, said: ‘Ford is absolutely committed to being a leader in the hybrid market and to top fuel efficiency across our lineup. We are taking actions with our popular C-MAX Hybrid so that customers are even more satisfied with the vehicle’s on-road fuel efficiency performance.’

The C-MAX Hybrid is being updated for the 2014 model year, with software updates, aerodynamic improvements and reduced friction engine oil all aimed at improving real-world fuel efficiency. As yet, the model has not been assessed using Ford’s new economy test.

Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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