Ford To Pay More Than $19 Mln To Settle Claims On Fuel Economy, Payload

Ford Motor Co. (F) agreed to pay $19.2 million to settle allegations that the company made misleading claims about the real-world fuel economy and payload capacity of certain vehicles.

Ford will be prohibited from making false or misleading advertising claims relating to the estimated fuel economy or payload capacity of new vehicles, the California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement.

As part of the settlement, which is subject to court approval, California will receive approximately $1.2 million for state and local enforcement of consumer protection laws and Ford will be subject to injunctive terms to prevent future misconduct.

The attorneys general of 40 states have been investigating Ford for several years over misleading claims relating to its 2013-2014 C-Max hybrids and 2011-2014 Super Duty pick-up trucks. The investigation found that Ford made misleading representations about 2013-2014 C-Max hybrids including misrepresenting the distance consumers could drive on one tank of gas, marketing that driving style would not impact real-world fuel economy, and claiming superior real-world fuel economy compared to other hybrids.

The investigation also found that, when advertising its 2011-2014 Super Duty pickup trucks, Ford purposefully omitted standard cargo truck items such as the spare wheel, tire and jack, and car radio when making weight calculations to raise the payload capacity.

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