Customers were not happy.
Ford Australia got itself into something of a pickle last May when it got caught falsely advertising its Mustang Mach 1. The muscle car's brochure originally stated it came equipped with LED fog lights, Mustang Mach 1 floor mats, ambient lighting in the door pockets, rear parking sensors, and radar cruise control. The reality, however, is that none of these features are available Down Under. A high-performance Torsen limited-slip differential was also listed but the Australian market version receives the Mustang GT's mechanical limited-slip diff instead.
It didn't take long for owners to notice the absent features and their anger at the Blue Oval was justified. Ford attempted to make peace by offering customers a full refund, $5,400 AUD cashback, or free servicing for three years and a special track day event.
And then it had to face the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Via Drive.au, after spending $4.5 million AUD to correct the brochure's error and customer compensation, Ford has been fined another $53,280 AUD after it concluded it violated four infringement notices that mislead "consumers about the performance features of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 in four different versions of brochures promoting these vehicles which were published by Ford."
From October 2020 until April 2021, Ford Australia released four versions of the brochure on its official website that incorrectly promoted the Mach 1. Local buyers were asked to write a check for $83,000 (roughly $59,000 USD) for something they would never receive as advertised.
Not all 700 Mach 1 customers have the option of a full refund; only those who made their purchase before August 16, 2021. Everyone else is eligible for some compensation, servicing, and the track day. Ford Australia has admitted to its mistake and apologized.
"There are always small specification differences between left-hand drive and right-hand drive Mustangs," a company spokesperson said. "Not recognizing a few of these differences specific to the Mach 1 - features that were never available to us - was an oversight by us as the local team. We didn't catch these differences before the first rounds of brochures and the website were published, and for this, we are really sorry."