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Ford (F -1.4%) exec Joe Hinrichs says the automaker is talking with the EPA over mileage claims...

Ford (F -1.4%) exec Joe Hinrichs says the automaker is talking with the EPA over mileage claims and will make any needed adjustments. The company is trying to stay in front of the issue after informal testing from Consumer Reports came in with lower fuel economy performance than what Ford calls out.
Comments (17)
  • whimtrail
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Bless Consumer Reports! Self regulating does not hold up and trusting the large automotive corporations becomes a myth. As an investor in Ford it makes you think twice who the leaders are and what they stand for. S-Korea cars had the same problem of misleading the public.
    To live a honest life we should keep the top managers accountable for their performance. A very sad day for American business leadership.

     

    Robert K
    14 Dec 2012, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • Augustus9
    , contributor
    Comments (461) | Send Message
     
    RK, could not have been stated any better. Thank You.
    14 Dec 2012, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (4821) | Send Message
     
    RK - Really? So what if Consumer Reports is proven dead wrong and Ford is proven right? You seem to be very eager to trust Consumer Reports. Who regulates them? Anyone?

     

    Ford ran the procedures exactly as prescribed and regulated by the EPA, and reported the results they got.

     

    Consumer Reports just went off did their own thing in "informal testing" on the road and track. They totally ignored the EPA-dictated test procedures, and just tested the vehicle however they wished, including racing the vehicle in 0-60 and 0-75 mph sprints, and at maximum speed, just to see what it can do. That sort of testing has nothing to do with measuring fuel efficiency. Consumer Reports set out to show how low you can go, and they succeeded.

     

    It reminds of when Consumer Reports was using Hollywood style explosives and special effects to flip over vehicles on purpose, just to show that it was possible to flip them over. What sort of "testing organization" does this sort of thing?

     

    What Consumer Reports results do show is that hybrids are especially sensitive to how they are driven. If you drive them more gently that the EPA prescribes in testing, than you can get substantially higher fuel efficiency than the label claims. It is called hypermiling. Conversely, if you drive the hell out of them, or even just a little more aggressively and faster than the EPA prescribes, then the resulting fuel consumption will be higher, and the mpg will be lower. That is exactly what Consumer Reports did.

     

    Of course, the EPA may decide to change the test procedures, again, as they did in 2008, to reflect more realistic real-world fuel consumption with average drivers, especially for hybrids; and then Ford will re-run the tests and report the "corrected" fuel efficiency numbers. And then some folks will find ways to get much higher numbers, and some will get much lower numbers, and we are back to square one.

     

    Probably what needs to be done is some way to communicate very clearly that the vehicle got, say, 47 mpg in the standard EPA cycle tests, and that driving the vehicle very efficiently in good weather could yield an average as high as 53 mpg during one week, and that driving it aggressively in poor weather could yield as low as 37 mpg in another week, and that using the AC or Heater costs maybe 7 mpg, having the windows down costs 10 mpg, carrying 5 passengers plus luggage costs 8 mpg, and so forth.
    14 Dec 2012, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (4821) | Send Message
     
    "The February 2007 issue of Consumer Reports stated that only two of the child safety seats it tested for that issue passed the magazine's side impact tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which subsequently retested the seats, found that all those seats passed the corresponding NHTSA tests at the speeds described in the magazine report. The CR article reported that the tests simulated the effects of collisions at 38.5 mph. However, the tests that were completed in fact simulated collisions at 70 mph. CR stated in a letter from its president Jim Guest to its subscribers that it would retest the seats. The article was removed from the CR website, and on January 18, 2007 the organization posted a note on its home page about the misleading tests. Subscribers were also sent a postcard apologizing for the error."

     

    Consumer Reports has every characteristic of being a rogue, out of control, corrupt, inept, and maliciously negligent headline seeking cabal, with no real consequences for slandering the target, and with pathetic meaningless apologies to their paid subscribers and those "who may have been" affected; and no absolutely intention of changing their ways and correcting their mistakes at the root cause level.
    14 Dec 2012, 12:38 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    Just wait a couple days and a lot of people on this site will blame those darned oid over paid union thugs (as some people have caled them).
    14 Dec 2012, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    It's hard to dispute facts but as you say Tdot, I personally have never trusted everything I read in CR. They are kinda like a policeman, they can speed when ever they want, usually without consequences.
    14 Dec 2012, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (4821) | Send Message
     
    Amusingly, Consumer Reports is a publication of the "Consumers Union" - which essentially consists of the managers, editors, testing volunteers, and paid subscribers.
    14 Dec 2012, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • specman48
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    just 2 comments . The EPA sets the rules and the manufacturers follow the procedures . The EPA than arrives and checks some of the results . For consumer reports there is a definite bias against american mfgrs . Why do they jump on the american but leave foreign cars alone . eg: Toyota now has about 10 million cars on recalls and about 7.5 of them for fire in the door switches since 04 . Not a word . I guess it okay to burn to death in a foreign car
    14 Dec 2012, 05:02 PM Reply Like
  • EdwinJ44
    , contributor
    Comments (61) | Send Message
     
    Would it not be better to offer a reasonable range of gas mileage, under different conditions, at say 2-3% lower than actual testing. Allow the public to be so pleasantly surprised about the GREAT mileage that 'they' voice positive advertising for you. Instead they (automakers) stretch the facts and create all the negative advertising featured in the announcements in "Consumer Reports".
    14 Dec 2012, 12:05 PM Reply Like
  • Augustus9
    , contributor
    Comments (461) | Send Message
     
    F, evalution of MPG, EPA, evaluation and how the consumer actually drives their vehicle. Three different stories . Three different endings.
    14 Dec 2012, 12:05 PM Reply Like
  • stevecan
    , contributor
    Comments (30) | Send Message
     
    Robert,

     

    Regardless if the numbers come back different, it is likely that the real problem exists because of the fact that the test methods leave areas open for interpretation and or incalculable situations. In a hybrid, there really is no clarity for when the battery is used, not used or when it is used in certain situations with respect to when the battery calls for more power based on the RPM's or torque required for accelerations and certain stages or shift points. You can get 200 miles per gallon if you want, or 20 - but the EPA attempts to limit the spread with their rules. This is not baseball, where there is a rule for everything. This is driving a car to certain situations, calculating the miles per gallon and then submitting them to the EPA. You cannot think that there is NOTHING ambiguous in a government rulebook - can you?
    14 Dec 2012, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • Ed Lee
    , contributor
    Comments (104) | Send Message
     
    Consumer Reports has been blatently anti-American since the 1970s, and not just with car manufacturers, but with all manufacturing. This is just more of their "anything but made in America" bias.
    14 Dec 2012, 12:27 PM Reply Like
  • slowtocatchon
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    Edmunds review from 10/19/12 of the 2013 Fusion hybrid. They drove the car over 800 miles and found the 47/47 estimates to be not that far off.

     

    http://edmu.in/VFAlHG
    14 Dec 2012, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • bondork
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
     
    I do better than what ford says I can get in my f150, if one drives like an idiot the mileage goes to pot. Driving sensible one can get the mileage or better.
    It just depends on who is doing the testing, if they have money invested in another car company what would the results be test competition.
    14 Dec 2012, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (4821) | Send Message
     
    Update:

     

    DETROIT [AP] -- Ford said Friday that it's talking to the government about the fuel economy of its hybrid cars after a report suggested they're falling short of targets.

     

    Consumer Reports said last week that Ford's new C-Max hybrid didn't meet the published fuel economy of 47 miles per gallon, averaging 38 miles per in the magazine's testing. Other hybrids — including the Ford Fusion and Toyota Prius V — have also fallen short in the magazine's tests.

     

    Ford said it followed the Environmental Protection Agency's guidelines when it set its fuel economy standards. But the EPA's hybrid tests don't exactly mimic real-world driving. For example, Consumer Reports said it measures highway fuel use for a car going 65 miles per hour, but the EPA's highway test speed averages 48 mph.

     

    Ford's global vehicle development chief Raj Nair said the way owners drive their hybrids can also affect performance. For example, driving a hybrid car 75 miles per hour, instead of 65 miles per hour, can cost the driver seven miles per gallon, Nair said. Hot or cold temperatures can also affect the numbers.

     

    Nair said Ford is talking to the EPA to see if the agency needs to change the way it tests hybrids. The EPA said Friday that it is reviewing Consumer Reports' results.
    14 Dec 2012, 08:10 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (4821) | Send Message
     
    Further update - Consumer Reports finally 'fesses up!

     

    It all makes sense now. Ford's new hybrids are designed run in pure EV mode up to 62 mph (100 kph), for as long as there is reasonable state of charge on the high voltage battery. The EPA "highway" test includes some time at speeds that are below 62 mph (thus potentially running in pure EV mode) and some time at speeds above 62 mph (hybrid - gas engine plus EV), so you get a blend of both, thus 47 mpg.

     

    Consumer Reports' highway test runs exclusively at 65 mph, so there is zero time in "pure EV" mode: the gas engine is running for the entire time, thus achieving 38 mpg. If Consumer Reports ran the test at 62 mph instead of , then the measured fuel efficiency would have been essentially "infinite" mpg, because the gas engine would not have been running.

     

    It is pretty stunning that it took Consumer Reports so long to 'fess up to essentially "cheating" on the EPA's highway test, and then slandering Ford.
    15 Dec 2012, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (4821) | Send Message
     
    Consumer Reports explanation: http://bit.ly/SY8Wlu
    15 Dec 2012, 10:30 AM Reply Like
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