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Ford to restate fuel mileage of C-Max hybrid: source

A Ford 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid vehicle is seen on display outside the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan November 8, 2012. REUTERS/Re
A Ford 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid vehicle is seen on display outside the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan November 8, 2012. REUTERS/Re

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co will lower the fuel economy rating on its C-Max hybrid later on Thursday following complaints from consumers and industry experts that its mileage fell short of claims, a person familiar with the matter said.

Ford, the second-largest U.S. automaker, faces several class action lawsuits that allege it overstated the gas mileage on its hybrids. Last month, Ford offered a free software update to boost their real-world economy, which was advertised at 47 miles per gallon.

The source declined to be named because the matter is confidential.

A Ford spokesman declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could not be immediately reached.

Consumer Reports magazine said last year that the Ford C-Max and Fusion hybrids fell far short of their promised fuel economy in road tests.

Ford has said that aggressive driving, hot and cold weather and battery performance have an outsized effect on a hybrid's gas mileage when compared to gas-powered vehicles.

Last year, Ford said U.S. fuel economy tests for hybrids may need to be changed to reflect their sensitivity.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; additional reporting by Gerry Shih in Pebble Beach, California; Editing by Richard Chang)

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