The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be revising its testing procedures and policies in light of a recent controversy surrounding the mileage ratings for the Ford C-Max Hybrid. The EPA had originally rated the C-Max with the same fuel economy as the Ford Fusion Hybrid, but after complaints from customers that they were unable to achieve the same numbers, the organization found that in fact the C-Max was not as efficient as originally reported.
The agency used the same ratings for both vehicles because the Fusion Hybrid has the same engine, test weight and transmission, leading regulators to believe that it would perform similarly. But small changes in the design and form factor contributed to lower gas mileage for the C-Max.
Original reported to achieve 47 miles per gallon (mpg) on both city streets and highways, the C-Max is now rated at 40 mpg on streets and 43 mpg on the freeway.
"They're trying to do it all with one test cycle and you just can't," said John O'Dell, senior editor for fuel efficiency and green cars at Edmunds.com, a car-shopping site, told the Christian Science Monitor. "The EPA rating has become sort of a gospel. It's not gospel, but we're tending to look at it as gospel."
Ford isn't the only company to have had the same issue. In November last year, Kia and Hyundai were forced to revise advertised efficiency ratings after they were accused of inflating this information. In a statement, the EPA said it would be working with consumer groups and manufacturers to revise rules relating to fuel economy standards and testing, though specific changes were not detailed.