Ford announced it will make several software upgrades to improve real-world fuel economy for its 2013-model hybrid vehicles.
The ones to benefit from these changes will be 77, 000 owners of the 2013 C-max Hybrid, the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. Ford added that the changes for the 2014 model year hybrids will be made on the assembly line.
In 2012, during the Consumer Reports tests, the C-Max and Fusion hybrids fell 17% to 21% short of the automaker’s promise of combined 47 mpg. The Fusion reached 39 mpg, while the C-Max achieved 37 mpg in city and highway. Ford said that the changes will not affect the automaker’s mpg labels.
“We believe these actions will provide our customers enhanced on-road fuel economy satisfaction,” said Raj Nair, Ford product development chief, in a statement.
Dealerships have already been informed about the changes and officials said the upgrades take about half a day to be performed. Nair said that no alterations to the hardware will be involved and that dealerships will begin to make the changes by the end of this month.
“Customers should see the most improvement at highway speeds, during air conditioner use and operation in colder climates,” he said.
Ford’s sales of pure EVs and hybrids reached 46,197 units through June, five times more compared with the same period last year. Lincoln plans to change the mix for the MKZ from 20% to 40% for the 2014 model year.