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Ford Boosting Hybrid Fuel Economy with Software Update

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On: Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:40PM | By: Elizabeth Puckett

Ford Boosting Hybrid Fuel Economy with Software Update

Some of Ford’s hybrid models will soon be getting free software updates to help improve fuel economy. 2013 Ford Fusion, Ford C-Max, and Lincoln MKZ hybrids are the target of this software update in an effort to get actual MPG closer to what the EPA estimated mileage reads. The window stickers on of all these models states that they get 47 miles per gallon in highway and city driving—the actual fuel economy appears to be closer to 40 miles per gallon or less.

A review by Consumer Reports (CR) highlighted the major gaps between estimated MPG and what drivers are actually getting, and the results were quite embarrassing for certain models. The hybrid version of the Ford Fusion flunked out with a 39 MPG rating from CR, a 17% difference from the EPA rating on the window sticker.

Upgraded software information was cited in the recently released press release as somewhat of a side note. The main star of this press release was Ford’s plan to offer vehicles which get better gas mileage.

The VP of global product development at Ford, Raj Nair, reinforced the company’s commitment to offering class-leading fuel economy through the vehicles in their fleet. He recently acknowledged that the hybrid models were having some inconsistencies with fuel economy and noted that the software upgrade will fix that, going as far as to compare it to a software update for a smartphone or app.

While this update won’t require drivers to participate in a recall that would require hardware changes or new components, it won’t be as simple as running an update on a smartphone. The software upgrade will require owners to make an appointment with a Ford or Lincoln dealer and take the car in for an update while they wait. Think of it as a doctor’s appointment for your car.

In 2011, Ford ran an update to their MyFord Touch infotainment interface which improved capabilities. During this update, owners of equipped models got a 8GB USB in the mail which they could update themselves or have a dealer do it for them.


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