Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 1
This time, Ford's facing a hybrid lawsuit. This lawsuit is far from unique. I've heard of others. It seems that a lot of hybrids aren't hitting mileage estimates.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/one-mans-lawsuit-could-lead-18...


On December 7, Richard Pitkin of Roseville, California filed a lawsuit against Ford, accusing it of a false advertising campaign, which calls the C-Max Hybrid "America's most fuel efficient and affordable hybrid utility vehicle":

These ads were false. In reality, the C-MAX Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid actually achieved far fewer mpg: Plaintiff Richard Pitkin who purchased a C-MAX Hybrid in October has not achieved 47 mpg, but rather had averaged approximately 37 mpg. Pitkin’s mileage experience was not the exception, but rather the rule.


It makes me wonder if hybrids in general are working as well as designed and if getting one is worth it. We put off vehicles forever and won't need one for a couple of years. The Focus BEV was in consideration until the price tag was released. The price is insane. But a plug-in Fusion hybrid may be an interesting option. The question in my mind remains how reliable is the technology? Now I have to question if you save any money at all. 37 mpg is not exactly head-turning. The Focus is 27/38 mpg in the first place. Is the CMax worth $10K more for 37/37? I'm not so sure. The plug-in aspect may be worth it if you use it the right way. We do a lot of little trips that would be 100% electric. Even then, I'd like to see a real estimate of kW used per mile or something like that, rather than a bogus gasoline equivalence estimate. That tells me nothing about potential cost of operation.

Peter

P.S. Happy Holidays to the Ford board!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
This time, Ford's facing a hybrid lawsuit. This lawsuit is far from unique. I've heard of others. It seems that a lot of hybrids aren't hitting mileage estimates.

______________________

Many are. For many years I've subscribed to and posted to Fueleconomy.gov. In general I've found my numbers tend to be a tiny bit above their averages, probably because I try a bit harder. After 7 cars, I'm fairly confident in their numbers.

Take a look at the combined rating for the Fusion Hybrid. 41.1 now.

I've not had a car Since my 1994 Camry that varied much if any from the EPA estimates. My current car I get a combined 28 average 28. Same as the site average. We have a 2007 Camry hybrid, same result, combined matches this site. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?action=browseList2&... is the real world results. About the same as CU and others.


I can get more or less if I want to, by trying harder, or in different areas with fewer hills. I'm sure there are situations where a Fusion Hybrid can average 47 mpg.

As for their EPA ratings? I think Ford is completely FOS.

Don;t get me wrong, I love the car. Ford did a great job on it. Looks very nice, quality interior, great room. Nice job. But don't BS me.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Ahh yes, RELIABILITY the true test of value for any vehicle. At least in my book. I am very interested in the plug in hybrid because of its flexibility and practical range out here in the west. Not too many plug in stations on the way to Burns OR. I am hopeful that in 2 or 3 years the data on the Fusion is good enough that I can replace my 99 Subaru Outback with 385,000 mi. I dont expect to get that many miles out of a Fusion, mind you... Only time, not recalls or lawsuits tells you the reliability story.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
My Dad's Fusion HEV will be 3 years old this March - he still loves it (and the gas mileage - blows away the 04 Taurus I inherited & use to keep the Mustang a 3 season Sunday driver). AFIK he's had zero issues with it unless you count windshield wipers that are stock and have always sucked despite dealer swaps (I told him to go aftermarket like mine - performance silicon units are better).

Happy & Safe New Years all,
B
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
If I recall correctly, a couple of years ago a lady sued Honda for the same thing. She won in lower court; however, that decision was reversed upon repeal.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1076106_honda-wins-round...

Donna
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I remember that case.

The 2006 Civic Hybrid is rated 42 combined, 42/40/45. That's different than the original sticker, as most cars that age were adjusted later on for comparison purposes. The new model is rated 44 across the board. My guess is most achieve 38 or so.

I've never known anyone that got much over high 30's. Our 2007 Camry Hybrid is rated 34/33/34, which is lower than the sticker said when new, as most cars has their epa ratings adjusted downward at one point. I have no problem achieving 36-40 or so in it. Except for a Rav4 I once owned, I've always found their estimates to be spot on. However, as with anything, there are those people that stomp on it and complain ;)

I've driven enough hybrids and normal cars to know how to get decent mileage. Whenever I see folks accelerating towards a red light or stop sign, stomping on it when green, or constantly varying their speed, I know their mileage is lower. With hybrids, it's all about having a lighter foot while underway. In the winter, the warming up process also reduces mileage, even more so than normal cars.

But I do this in my own car. When I'm at 75, My foot relaxes a bit just to maintain it. Around town, I coast towards stop lights, pull away steady but moderately, etc... It's not hard. Some cars though, you'll never get the published mileage no matter what you do.

The new Fusion Hybrid, and the normal gas engines are great cars from everything I've read. I found the new epa ratings to be so high, I wondered. But when looking at cars that cost upwards of $30,000 and more, I wonder how important gas mileage can be? lol
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 4
How important gas mileage might be to a $30,000 car owner depends a great deal on their intentions and strategy. Drive 1000 mi a year, not very important. Drive 20,000 mi a year, keep the car for 10 years and get 20 mi a gallon you spend more on gas than on the car... at least at today's prices. I just had a chance to drive a friends Tesla.. it gets GREAT gas mileage- ha- but he didn't get it for the mileage...

That said, what kind of mileage one gets these days and how it stacks up against promises is one way to judge quality. I prefer reliability, but the generic idea that gas mileage means something to owners is a good thing for investors to remember. An even better thing for investors to recall is how much TRUST is worth. F in my opinion is the beneficiary of the trust which has fled GM and Chrysler.... I hope they dont blow it.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
It is my understanding that the Feds (EPA) determine the mileage rate. So, why would anyone sue the manufacturer?

Donna
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
It is my understanding that the Feds (EPA) determine the mileage rate. So, why would anyone sue the manufacturer? -- Donna

Most, if not all, manufacturers self-certify..... meaning they run the test to the EPA procedure and report the results. A suit contends that the manufacturer made a mistake or is lying. I don't trust all the companies, but I very much trust Ford, knowing the people and the culture. Could I be wrong? Of course. :)

Rob
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
I think the simplest explanation is that the components are too variable in efficiency, leading to specific untis dramatically underperforming others. It's too emergent a technology to be as reliable as an ICE. I'd suspect the batteries for one. Isn't that what Honda blamed? Some batteries were unable to sustain their charge as long as required, so the car spent too much time with gas support?

That's the biggest thing I question with these cars. Is the technology really far enough along to be reliable? Not Fords. Not Hondas. Not Toyotas. Rather, hybrids in general. You can find plenty of complaints about any of them. There have been a lot of stories about companies scrambling to line up batteries the last few years. Is QC up to snuff on the batteries in a sellers' market?

A bad battery that won't hold charge really screws up the equation. Another poster mentioned that gas savings aren't a huge issue in the grand scheme of things when buyers are paying $30K for a car. From a dollars and cents perspective, I tend to agree; at least at first glance. The one item I'd point out though, is that these buyers often aren't buying these cars to save gas money. Their object is often to save gas, not gas money.

Hybrids have been peddled to us as a lower carbon alternative, and plenty of buyers adopted them because of that "fact". But are they? Is the mileage really that much better? Not really. Especially if you consider that individual unit variance may be large, and may erode severely as the battery degrades. How much gas is really being saved? When you consider rare materials that go into those batteries, is it really as low footprint environmentally as many argue? Is Ford right that next generation ICE is a better option? They've had their problems as well, though. Perhaps this is just the cost of pushing technology along too fast. My Father always said never to buy a car in its first model year, to let them work the bugs out. It's the opposite of today's habit to buy the newest, shiniest, coolest, fresh product.

My first question from a personal point of view is how much risk I'm assuming if I buy one of these new plug-ins. There seem to be a lot of complaints from all manufacturers. That could just be the nature of our elecctronic world. It's just too easy to find dozens of complaints aboout everything...

I'd also prefer that cost of operation was a lot more transparent. It's tough to figure out how efficient the vehicles are on a power consumption basis, because of the stupid emphasis on "MPGe". Last time I checked, you can't buy MPGes; you buy electricity.

Looking at the Focus BEV, it says that its on board charger is 6.6 kW and that it takes 3-4 hours to charge. I'd suppose that means that a full charge is 26 kWhrs? That's about $3.00, which sounds good for a 75 mile range. Is the calc this simple? If so, I'd prefer for them to put that out there front and center,and explain the cost of operation on the website. It seems like a critical selling point. It would be nice to see the range provided front and center. This EPA "MPGe" is stupid. I'd prefer real numbers over some contrived metric.


Peter
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
God point about the battery charge. I know for sure the hybrids lose efficiency in the colder weather. After warm up, they're fine. I've used two different Prius models for a week or so a piece, and we have the Camry Hybrid as well. The mileage I get from either has always been spot on.

I'm sure there could be some inconsistencies amongst the same models, but certainly not dramatic ones. Virtually every tester of the new Fusion hybrid has achieved the same range of results. Most said getting to 40 mpg is unbelievably difficult. 15% is a lot of discrepancy. I think it's the 47 combined rating that is the most suspect. While the new setup is fantastic in that the electric motor can go up to 62 mph without assist, you'd have to do that in a rmeote location, since it takes a long time to get there.

I think the 47/47/47 was a marketing success.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Your argument for actual KWH combined with "typical" $/KWH costs makes a whole bunch of sense. I wish that would be the way it was mandated, but I imagine the current solution is somehow politically derived. Not picking on any party here by the way.

Rob
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
HMALETTER,

Your point about driving habits affecting fuel economy is at the heart of the controversy over seemingly unachievable MPG ratings. People tend to think of their own driving habits as "normal" but a good number of common sense driving tips are not really all that common. One you mentioned that I often observe being overlooked is how to approach traffic signals.

I have three driving age children between 18 and 22. All of them, and another one I will not mention in the interests of extending 28 years of bliss, have a habit that drives me crazy. They simply don't observe events more than a few hundred feet in front of them that should cause them to adjust their rate of speed. Most common of those is noting traffic signals in front of them. They will routinely drive up within a very short distance of the light and have to brake more heavily than would have been required (if at all) had they slowed their rate of speed in anticipation of maintaining a steady pace.

One of the things that can help drivers to better anticipate events is driving a manual transmission. After a few occasions of being embarrassed by stalling the engine at a traffic light, beginning drivers quickly learn that it is much easier if you're able to keep the car moving. Eventually it becomes a habit that transfers to whatever type of vehicle or transmission you operate, and it saves fuel.

Doug
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Doug, thanks for the great response. (and the subtle humor. I know of what you speak) ;) Congrats on 28 years of bliss.

Agree 100% with the stop signal driving. My young daughter's first car is a 2002 Chevy Prism, aka Toyota Corolla. When she told me she averaged 25 mpg or so, I wondered what the heck was wrong. Yup. Stomp and start :)

I routinely see people driving on my bumper ahead of a stop. I coast at a decent speed, no gas applied. I'd imagine they lose a good 2-4 mpg driving that way, when a simple look ahead through my windshield or over the top could see a stop is imminent. Even with a huge semi ahead of me, many people don't seem to look at anything other than the bumper of the car ahead.

My Camry is rated at 32/33 highway. Sometimes I can get 30/31, but I have a drive that is continually up grade through some mountainous terrain. With some city/local driving, I average a combined 28 most of the time, right on the button. On the highway, I rarely go below 72 and generally cruise at 75.

I'm anxious to drive a new Fusion, as it's certainly one of the hottest looking 4-door sedans out there. The 47 intrigued me, 38/40 not so much. But it's the around town and local driving that would make is desirable. At any rate, with small cars over $20k, and sedans leaping towards $30k and up, there are other considerations ;)
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
HMALETTER,

I suspect your probability of realizing 45mpg is considerably better than most people given the description of your driving habits. I drive two V8 cars, a Mustang in the summer and Lincoln Mark VIII in the winter, and typically get around 21-22 mpg despite operating in an urban setting. I don't baby either of them on the highway -- 75 is about average when traffic allows. It seems that whenever another family member makes use of either, the consumption is noticeably greater.

One change I could see coming from this flap is for the EPA to adjust the testing procedure to more closely match real world driving conditions. As long as the manufacturers are actually performing the test I would expect them to execute the test procedures in a manner that optimizes fuel economy. One of the features of the new Ford hybrids, which I haven't tested, is that they are apparently capable of learning your frequently traveled routes and adjusting to optimize the times they run in electric-mode vs. ICE.

Doug
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
<they simply don't observe events more than a few hundred feet in front of them>

Yes, a myopia that generally fades with age and near death experiences... not a survival trait.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Thats funny stuff Doug,my grandpa used to call it Jack-rabbit starts and last minute stops.We just bought a new Edge a couple of weeks ago it wiil be interesting to see what mileage it will get.


P.K.
Print the post Back To Top
Advertisement