There's kind of a lot to digest in the news about the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid EPA label change. In fact, as we tried to really understand how and why Ford downrated the car's fuel economy from 47 miles per gallon across the board to 43 mpg (combined, with 45 city and 40 on the highway) we learned about the EPA's so-called "general label rule," how Ford is now claiming it didn't fully understand how hybrid fuel economy is affected by factors like driving speed, break-in miles and temperature and why the C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid – which get counted as the same thing in that general label – are actually two very different beasts. Oh, and that the C-Max Hybrid's fuel economy was never actually tested.
Aside from the $325 or $550 rebates Ford will send to lessees and buyers, we were curious if Ford plans on making any other apologies to C-Max owners for overstating the C-Max fuel economy by six mpg (if we use the pre-software update number, which is what the original mpg figure was based on. More on this below). Todd Nissen, Ford's manager of corporate communications told AutoblogGreen that, "We don't agree with the premise of 'overstating' the fuel economy. As confirmed by the EPA, Ford complied with EPA regulations in generating the C-Max's mpg figures. As you know, they were generated under the general label rule, which is a common industry practice." Let's clarify what that means below.