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Ford has announced that it is voluntarily lowering fuel economy estimates for the 2013 C-Max Hybrid to 43 mpg combined from 47, and will be issuing compensation to current owners of the C-Max because of this change.
According to the American automaker, the C-Max Hybrid was able to share a combined general label with the Ford Fusion Hybrid since both vehicles use the same engine, transmission, and are in the same weight class. As a result, the C-Max Hybrid, under the EPAís general label rules, was allowed to share the same fuel economy claims as the Fusion Hybrid. But after further testing, the EPA and Ford both concluded that discrepancies between the crossover and sedan in terms of fuel economy are greater in hybrids than in conventional vehicles.
As a result, the C-Max Hybrid will be relabelled at 45 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 43 mpg combined.
Ford is now working to enhance the 2014 C-Max Hybrid model in hopes of achieving better fuel efficiency. In addition to the software upgrades that were previously announced, Ford will be adding hardware changes to the 2014 C-Max Hybrid, including: a more efficient transmission drive ratio, modifications to the hood seal, tire air deflectors, new A-pillar moldings as well as new engine oil to further reduce friction.
A goodwill payment was announced that will compensate current owners the average estimated fuel cost difference between the two labels, which calculated to $550 for those who purchased the vehicle, and $325 for those who leased. North of the border in Canada, C-Max owners will be compensated a total of $895, while customers who leased the vehicle will receive $595.
While the American automaker didnít outright say it, it appears that the C-Max Hybrid never underwent fuel economy testing. Due to the general label rules, Ford was able to test the highest volume variant, which was the Fusion sedan, and apply that to the family of vehicles. The American automaker stressed that it is working with EPA to help reform those rules and regulations, especially the testing process that determines hybrid fuel economy.