Attorney General Bonta Announces Settlement with Ford for Misrepresenting Fuel Economy and Payload Capacity of Certain Vehicles

Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today, as part of a multistate coalition, announced a $19.2 million settlement with Ford Motor Company (Ford), resolving allegations that the company made misleading claims about the real-world fuel economy and payload capacity of certain vehicles. As part of today’s settlement, which is subject to court approval, California will receive approximately $1.2 million for state and local enforcement of consumer protection laws and Ford will be subject to injunctive terms to prevent future misconduct. 

"Buying a vehicle is one of the biggest and most important purchases many consumers make. When Californians buy a new car or truck, they should be able to trust that they're getting what they paid for," said Attorney General Bonta. "Ford's lies about the miles per gallon of its vehicles cost Californians money they had budgeted for rent, groceries, and other essentials. Many Californians previously received payments for Ford’s deception, and today's settlement is a further step toward accountability with its important injunctive terms. As Attorney General, I won't let corporations deceive Californians out of their hard-earned money."

State attorneys general have been investigating Ford for several years over misleading claims relating to its 2013-2014 C-Max hybrids and 2011-2014 Super Duty pick-up trucks. The investigation found that Ford made misleading representations about 2013–2014 C-Max hybrids including misrepresenting the distance consumers could drive on one tank of gas, marketing that driving style would not impact real-world fuel economy, and claiming superior real-world fuel economy compared to other hybrids. The investigation also found that, when advertising its 2011–2014 Super Duty pickup trucks, Ford purposefully omitted standard cargo truck items such as the spare wheel, tire and jack, and car radio when making weight calculations to raise the payload capacity. 

Today’s settlement resolves allegations that Ford’s claims violated state consumer protection laws. As part of the settlement, Ford will be required to pay $19.2 million to the states and comply with significant injunctive terms. Specifically, Ford will be prohibited from making false or misleading advertising claims relating to the estimated fuel economy or payload capacity of new vehicles.

Attorney General Bonta is committed to holding companies that take advantage of California consumers accountable. As gas prices surged, Attorney General Bonta sent a letter to the CEOs of refineries operating in California warning them against illegal market manipulation and other violations of state antitrust laws. The Attorney General also announced a settlement with Smart & Final resolving allegations that the grocer engaged in price gouging of certain types of eggs during the COVID pandemic. Earlier this year, the Attorney General secured $11.4 million in direct restitution and substantial injunctive terms to prevent future misconduct as part of a settlement against Intuit. Attorney General Bonta has also worked to secure relief for student borrowers, including securing a $22 million judgment against Ashford University for defrauding California students and $11.5 million in direct restitution for federal student loan borrowers taken advantage of by Navient, one of the nation’s largest student loan servicers.

Attorney General Bonta joins the attorneys general of 40 states in filing the settlement.

A copy of the settlement, which is subject to court approval, can be found here.

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