PHOENIX -- Today, Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a $19.2 million resolution with automaker Ford Motor Company regarding claims that Ford falsely advertised the real-world fuel economy of 2013–2014 C-Max hybrids and the payload capacity of 2011–2014 Super Duty pickup trucks. Arizona will receive over $884,000 from the settlement. The consent judgment is pending court approval.
“Vehicles are among the biggest investments that most consumers make, and they expect and deserve truth in advertising, “ said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Our office will continue to hold companies accountable for providing any misleading or inaccurate information.”
The attorneys general allege Ford used deceptive advertisements that claimed C-Max vehicles offered superior real-world fuel economy and driving performance. The C-Max hybrid was initially promoted as getting 47 mpg in the city and on the highway. Ford lowered the C-Max’s fuel economy ratings, once in 2013 and again in 2014, ultimately to 42 mpg in the city; 37 mpg on the highway; and 40 mpg combined city-highway.
The attorneys general also allege that Ford made deceptive “Best-in-Class” payload claims regarding its 2011–2014 Super Duty pick-up trucks, including the F-250, F-350, and F-450 models, trucks that cater to consumers hauling and towing heavy loads. The investigation looked into whether Ford created a deceptive methodology to calculate maximum payload capacity based on a hypothetical truck configuration. It omitted standard items such as the spare wheel, tire and jack, center flow console (replacing it with a mini console), and radio. The trucks’ hypothetical payload capacity increased by approximately 154 to 194 pounds, enough for Ford to advertise a misleading Best-in-Class payload.
The consent judgment addresses Ford’s deceptive advertising practices and helps ensure Ford will not make false or misleading advertising claims about its vehicles in the future.
The multistate investigation and resolution were led by Arizona, Oregon, Texas, Illinois, Maryland, and Vermont, and joined by the attorneys general of 35 additional states and jurisdictions.
This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Alyse Meislik and Consumer Litigation Unit Chief Matthew du Mee.
If you believe you have been a victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by visiting the Attorney General’s website. If you need a complaint form sent to you, please contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1(800) 352-8431. Bilingual consumer protection staff is available to assist.