Ford Motor Company as agreed to a $19.2 million multistate settlement among 40 attorneys general that concluded an investigation into the company’s alleged false advertising of the payload capacity of model year 2011–2014 Super Duty pickup trucks and the real-world fuel economy of model year 2013–2014 C-Max hybrids.
The investigation revealed that Ford used a deceptive scheme to calculate the maximum payload of its pickups. Ford created hypothetical Super Duty truck configurations that omitted standard equipment, resulting in inflated payload figures—figures just high enough for Ford to make Best-in-Class payload claims. Ford used this strategy when calculating payload for advertising purposes, but not for calculating the actual payload capacity of the trucks that consumers bought. The company also misrepresented the fuel economy figures for C-Max hybrids.