MPG Fraudulent Advertising Class Action Suit Filed Against Ford Motor Company
Just months after Ford released its new 2013 Fusion and C-MAX Hybrids, a national class action lawsuit has been filed against Ford Motor Company for allegations that include, violation of false advertising laws, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation.
McCuneWright, LLP, has filed Federal class action lawsuits against General Motors, LLC, Hyundai Motor America, and Ford Motor Company, for affirmatively misleading advertising of estimated miles per gallon fuel efficiency. It continues to research how these advertisements have affected customers of GM and Hyundai. It also continues to research the practices of other manufacturers and whether they are illegally advertising inflated miles per gallon (MPG) of their vehicles. The lawsuits seek restitution, damages and an injunction to stop the illegal advertisements.After the filings of these lawsuits, the false advertisements of MPG has recently attracted great attention in a case brought by an attorney customer who opted out of a settlement and proceeded to obtain almost $10,000 in a small claims judgment against Honda. That case is presently on appeal.
Unfortunately for most consumers, who are not attorneys, and who do not have the time or expertise to bring a case and then defend a verdict against the army of high-priced lawyers that the manufacturers use to litigate these cases, a class action is the only real chance of obtaining justice for unfair advertising of inflated MPG. These inflated MPG estimates can result in thousands of damages in additional fuel costs over the advertised MPG that is inflated in relation to real world MPG.The auto manufacturers inflated MPG advertisements are due to their use of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated MPG, instead of real-world MPG. The EPA has developed a long standing system for consumers to compare fuel economy of different vehicle makes and models. The results from the EPA testing are attained by using laboratory-like tests and conditions, in calculating both city and highway MPG. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a long standing system for consumers to compare the relative fuel economy of different makes and models of vehicles. This EPA system is one in which the advertised results are taken from laboratory-like tests and conditions, in calculating both city and highway MPG.
The EPA requires that manufacturers include these MPG results on the window sticker of all new vehicles. The EPA and the manufacturers understand that these MPG results are, usually much higher mpg than consumers will experience in their real-life driving conditions. As a result, the window sticker contains mandatory language that identifies the MPG listed as an EPA estimated number, and that a statement such as, "Your Actual Mileage Will Vary," be included.The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Courts evaluating manufacturers advertising of EPA MPG also provide instruction on how these MPG numbers may be used in advertisements. If EPA estimated MPG numbers are used in advertisements, the manufacturer must identify the MPG figure:
1) as city or highway mpg;
2) that the source of the MPG is an EPA estimate; and
3) must use the same vehicle model that was tested in the EPA protocol.
Examples of the kind of advertisements that the lawsuits contend the manufacturers are using that violates these requirements and misleads customers are illustrated below: