Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin announced May 24 that New Jersey is participating in a $19.2 million multistate settlement with Ford Motor Co.
New Jersey will receive nearly $615,000 from the settlement, which resolves claims that the automaker falsely advertised the real-world fuel economy of its C-Max hybrid vehicles and the payload capacity of its Super Duty pickup trucks.
“Misleading claims by manufacturers about their vehicles’ fuel economy can result in consumers paying more than expected at the pump,” said Platkin. “Today’s settlement sends the important message that we will hold accountable any vehicle manufacturer that deceives consumers about the real-world affordability of driving one of their vehicles.”
An investigation by 42 attorneys general found that Ford made several misleading representations about the fuel economy of its model year 2013 and 2014 C-Max hybrids to gain competitive advantage. Those misleading claims allegedly included: misrepresenting the distance consumers could drive on one tank of gas, asserting that driving style would not influence the vehicles’ real-world fuel economy, and claiming superior real-world fuel economy compared to other hybrids.
“This is an important outcome for consumers in New Jersey and across the nation,” said Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Cari Fais. “Deceiving consumers about fuel efficiency estimates and truck hauling capacity not only lacks integrity – it is illegal. Now more than ever, consumers are harmed when auto makers ignore their duty to be truthful about the fuel economy and other key features of the vehicles they manufacture.”
Deputy Attorney General Bryan Sanchez of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section within the Division of Law’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Practice Group handled the Ford matter on behalf of the state.