Attorney General Ellison reaches $19.2M multistate settlement with Ford

Minnesota joins 40 other states and territories in resolving claims that Ford falsely advertised vehicles’ fuel economy and payload capacity; Ford to pay State $320K

May 24, 2022 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison today announced that his office has joined 40 states and territories in reaching a $19.2 million multistate settlement with Ford Motor Company regarding claims that Ford deceived consumers about two separate aspects of two of its vehicles: the real-world fuel economy of model year 2013–14 C-Max hybrids, and the payload capacity of model years 2011–15 Super Duty pickup trucks. Minnesota will receive $319,740.60 from the settlement

“With the recent spike in gas prices, Minnesotans place more importance than ever on the fuel efficiency of their vehicles, because it helps them afford their lives,” said Attorney General Ellison. “Minnesota consumers trusted Ford to honestly represent their vehicles’ fuel efficiency.  Instead, Ford used fuzzy math to make their hybrid cars appear more fuel-efficient in real-world driving conditions, and to make their trucks appear capable of hauling more than possible. When any company misleads consumers or falsely represents their products, I will use my power as Attorney General to hold them accountable.” 

2013–2014 C-Max hybrids 

The investigation revealed that Ford made several misleading representations about 2013–2014 C-Max hybrids. They include:  

At one point, Ford ran a series of advertisements called the “Hybrid Games,” which were narrated like an Olympic sporting event and depicted the C-Max outperforming the Prius in a series of videos. The Attorneys General allege that the videos deceptively reflected that C-Max vehicles offered superior real-world fuel economy and driving performance. The C-Max hybrid was initially promoted as 47 mpg in the city and highway. Ford had to lower the vehicle’s fuel economy rating once in 2013 and again in 2014, to eventually 42 mpg/city, 37 mpg/highway, and 40 mpg/city-highway mixed; impacting the MY 2013 (twice) and MY 2014 C-Max hybrid. This settlement corrects Ford’s deceptive advertising practices, and helps ensure that Ford will not make false or misleading advertising claims about the fuel economy of its vehicles.  

2011–2015 Super Duty pick-up trucks 

The Attorneys General also investigated Ford’s misleading “Best-in-Class” payload claims on its 2011–2015 Super Duty pick-up trucks, which includes the F-250, F-350, and F-450 models, a line that caters to consumers hauling and towing heavy loads. The Attorneys General allege that Ford’s methodology to calculate maximum payload capacity for advertising purposes was based on a hypothetical truck configuration that omitted standard items such as the spare wheel, tire and jack, center flow console (replacing it with a mini console), and radio. Although advertised as available to all customers, only fleet customers could order the special configuration.  

According to the settlement, 632 model year 2013–14 C-Max cars and 13,525 model years 2011–14 F-Series Super Duty Trucks were sold in Minnesota. 

Ford previously provided two sets of payments to C-Max owners and lessees in connection with its misrepresentation of EPA fuel economy ratings. The C- Max payments each ranged from $300 to $550, depending on whether the consumer was an owner or lessee. In total, Ford has paid approximately $19 million to impacted C- Max lessees and $16 million to impacted C-Max owners. 

Attorney General Ellison encourages owners of the affected Ford vehicles with questions about this settlement or available compensation to contact his office by calling (651) 296-3353 (Metro area) or (800) 657-3787 (Greater Minnesota), or by submitting a complaint form on the Attorney General’s website at

The settlement that Attorney General Ellison joined was led by the attorneys general of Oregon, Texas, Illinois, Maryland, Vermont and Arizona, and was joined by the attorneys general of 35 additional states and jurisdictions.