The federal government may change the rules for the gas mileage estimates that car buyers see on window stickers after finding that fuel economy figures for Ford's C-Max gas-electric hybrid were inflated.
The Environmental Protection Agency, which monitors mileage testing, says it will cut the C-Max's combined city-highway mileage estimate by nearly 9 percent to 43 mpg, from 47. Ford Motor Co. will change its window stickers to reflect the correct estimate and said that it will compensate drivers for the difference.
C-Max buyers will get a $550 check, while those who leased will receive $325. The checks will be sent soon, the company said.
Christopher Grundler, the agency's director of transportation and air quality, says Ford followed EPA test procedures in calculating the mileage and did nothing wrong. The problem stemmed from agency guidelines that allow automakers to test one vehicle, then use its mileage estimates for other car models that have the same engines, transmissions and weight classifications.
However, the EPA discovered that a test on one model may not be accurate for another because cars are getting increasingly more fuel-efficient. The agency may change its guidelines, as a result.
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