Driver compensated after car fails to achieve fuel consumption claims

A man in New Zealand has been awarded $6,000 in compensation after his Ford Kuga failed to reach the manufacturer’s claimed fuel economy figures.

Bruce Campbell bought a Ford Kuga Titanium Ecoboost AWD last year, reports the NZ Herald, after being told it’d use 7.7 litres of petrol per 100km (36.7mpg).

But Campbell could not achieve better fuel economy than 9.7 litres per 100km (29.1mpg) – and at one point the Kuga was averaging 12.9 litres per 100km (21.9mpg).

When he contacted his dealer, Wanganui Motors, they told him the car was still ‘bedding-in’ and fuel economy would improve.

The owner kept the car for around 11,000km (6,835 miles) before trading it in and taking his dealer to an official disputes tribunal.

The tribunal found that Campbell had been misled but the dealer had relied on incorrect information given by Ford.

He was awarded $6,000 in compensation – 0.75c for every km he travelled in the car.

Do car manufacturers in the UK mislead customers in fuel economy claims?

It’s fair to say that, in the UK, most drivers will struggle to reach the official fuel consumption figures provided by manufacturers.

That doesn’t mean that we will be able to sue manufacturers for false MPG claims, however.

All new models are put through a strict fuel economy test known as the ‘NEDC’ (New European Driving Cycle).

This standardised test measures a car’s performance in laboratory conditions and has been criticised for not replicating real-world conditions.

This means the official fuel consumption figures do differ from those you’re likely to achieve – but they still allow buyers to compare models like-for-like.

As this is an official European test, manufacturers have no control over the outcome. Therefore, it would not be possible to challenge their ‘claimed’ fuel economy figures.

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