And there's a good reason why.
Last December, Ford announced its all-new 2019 Ranger was "the most fuel-efficient gas-powered midsize pickup in America.” The EPA rated the reborn Ranger at 21/26/23 mpg city/highway/combined. Prefer the 4x4 variant? You’re looking at 20/24/22 mpg. Not bad at all. Unfortunately, those figures could be inaccurate.
Automotive News reports that a new lawsuit seeking class-action status has just been filed that accuses Ford of customer deception regarding the new Ranger’s fuel economy ratings, as well as a few other vehicles. This information came to light following the already announced criminal investigation into Ford’s emissions certification process. The very same firm that led class-action suits against Toyota for unintended acceleration and Volkswagen for on diesel emissions, Hagens Berman, just filed a complaint alleging Ford "deliberately miscalculated and misrepresented factors used in vehicle certification testing.”
More alarmingly, that process allegedly "includes a mileage cheat device.” In response to the allegations, a Ford spokesperson said the company hasn’t "been served with this complaint yet. When we are, we’ll review it and respond appropriately.”
If you recall, last month we reported the US Justice Department opened an investigation into Ford for allegedly not adhering to emissions standards. Ford said at the time it will fully cooperate with the government and that it had also hired an outside law firm as part of its own investigation. Ford adamantly denied using defeat devices. This still does not satisfy some 2019 Ranger owners who accuse the automaker of lying.
"Ford deceptively advertised its Rangers to consumers as 'best-in-class' in fuel economy,” Steve Berman, the firm's managing partner, said in a statement. "Ford knew that consumers pay a premium for fuel efficiency and that less fuel burned means less emissions, and therefore more profits.”
In response, the automaker said "there's been no determination that this affects Ford's fuel economy labels or emissions certifications.” This isn’t the first time Ford has been accused of incorrect fuel economy claims. For example, C-Max hybrid owners were compensated for extra fuel costs after Ford decided to lower the vehicle’s fuel economy after real-world mileage proved to be considerably less than advertised.