Thursday, July 7, 2022
News False Advertising will Cost Ford $19.2 Million

False Advertising will Cost Ford $19.2 Million

Ford will pay a penalty for having lied in ad campaigns about two of its vehicles close to ten years ago.

  • Ford overstated the fuel economy of the C-Max hybrid and the Payload of the Super Duty trucks

  • The affected vehicles were sold between 2011 and 2014

  • A recall last year corrected the payload values for the 2020 Super Duty

In a settlement with 40 American states, Ford will pay $19.2 million in penalty for having lied in various advertising campaigns in the first half of the 2010s.

The lies had to do with the real-world fuel economy off the C-Max hybrid compact SUV and the payload capacity of the Super Duty pickup. The model years in which the false advertising was perpetuated were 2013 and 2014 for the hybrid and 2011 thru 2014 for the truck.

In the case of the C-Max, the automaker was found guilty of using deceptive methodology to test the fuel consumption and the possible range on a tank of fuel in order to boost both numbers to a level that is impossible to reach in real-world driving.

The advertising campaign in question also compared the C-Max against a Toyota Prius, which was obviously shown to struggle to compete with the American SUV, despite actually being more fuel efficient.

Ford Super Duty

In the case of the Super Duty, Ford is said to have used a truck configured in a way that is not available to the buying public in order to advertise a best-in-class payload figure.

Indeed, the automaker removed a lot of weight from the tested truck by uninstalling the radio, the center console, the spare wheel and the jack, all standard items in every version of the truck.

This meant that the advertise payload figure was impossible to achieve with any of the truck found on dealer lots and attempting to load the same weight on a regular production Super Duty pickup would result in overloading it, thus creating a safety risk.

Even before the settlement, Ford had to recall certain units of the 2020 F-350 (part of the Super Duty family) in order to lower the payload capacity indicated on the door jamb sticker, which was anywhere between 78 and 900 pounds optimistic, depending on the truck’s configuration.

Despite having to pay the penalty, Ford has not been criminally charged and the automaker maintains it hasn’t done anything wrong.

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