Sacramento, California (AP) – Ford Motor Company on Tuesday disposed of claims by 40 U.S. state attorneys general that the company made misleading claims about the fuel economy and payload capacity of some of its vehicles, violating state consumer protection laws.
The company has agreed to pay $ 19.2 million to the states as part of a settlement filed in California’s San Diego Superior Court and to refrain from making misleading advertising claims.
The attorney general said Ford misled customers about his 2013-2014 C-Max hybrid car and the 2011-2014 super-duty pickup truck.
Attorney generals say the company misrepresented how far C-Max hybrids could go in gas tanks and that the real-world fuel economy was better than other vehicle hybrids.
They said Ford deliberately excluded its super-duty pickup truck from its payload calculation for standard items that included spare wheels, tires, jacks and car radios, thus artificially increasing the claimed payload capacity.
Ford said in a statement that the investigation was conducted without a judicial inquiry into the misconduct and that the company denied any federal or state law violations.
“We have worked with states to address their concerns and limit additional investigative costs and legal costs for all parties to the process,” the company said.
Ford says it has voluntarily flagged the wrong fuel economy rating for federal regulators, corrected it and retaliated against those who bought or leased vehicles during and after the rating was incorrectly advertised.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in announcing the settlement that buyers “will be able to believe that they are getting what they paid for.”
The settlement provides 1.2 million for California to support state and local enforcement of consumer protection laws.
Settlements include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Districts of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mesos, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.