Manufacturer wants a host of class-action lawsuits to be dismissed.
Ford got into some hot water last year when it was sued for over $1 billion for allegedly overstating fuel economy numbers for the Ranger and F-150, the latter being the top-selling vehicle in the country. Some owners complained that they'd be spending over $2,000 more than anticipated in fuel costs over the lifetime of the vehicle, which led to multiple class-action lawsuits.
Now, Ford has shot back. According to a report by Car Complaints, the manufacturer says that the MPG class action lawsuits - which were amalgamated in Michigan - should be dismissed because of one key fact: the plaintiffs confused estimated fuel economy with actual economy. The debacle also goes back to Ford doing its own internal investigation for possibly inaccurate emissions and economy testing.
Plaintiffs claimed that there are errors in how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached its economy estimates for certain Fords manufactured between 2017 and 2019. In response, Ford's motion to dismiss states: "In so doing, Plaintiffs insert themselves into an extensively regulated technical regime that is under active supervision of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)".
Ford's attorneys have also said that various US courts have rejected consumers' attempts to define EPA estimates as a guarantee of economy figures in the real world. The plaintiffs cited an unnamed independent tester and a truck blogger as examples of the higher economy readings. Again, however, these unnamed testers based their conclusions on the Monroney label (window sticker) which both Ford and the EPA say display fuel economy estimates.
While Ford is technically correct regarding the EPA numbers being estimates, we previously reported on claims of an F-150 returning a highway economy figure of 15 percent lower than EPA estimates, which makes the printed figures suddenly look quite inflated, especially to the uninitiated. Ford was also accused of using a mileage cheat device that returns false readings, which it denies.
We've known for some time that EPA ratings rarely provide a 100 percent accurate prediction of economy, and is best utilized as a tool to compare potential economy between similar vehicles. Ford says that testing on the road "will often yield different results than those obtained under the EPA's testing process."
It remains to be seen what will come of the lawsuit, but for now it looks like Ford has no intention of buckling.