Hybrid Vehicle Gas Mileage Issues

Gas mileage (mpg) not as promised for your Ford Escape, Honda Civic or Toyota Prius?

Manufacturers, Ford with its Escape, Honda with its Civic Hybrid, and Toyota with its Prius among them, have been touting the performance of their hybrid vehicles. They have even lobbied to get special access to car pool lanes for these vehicles. The problem is that many owners are not getting the hybrid gas mileage that was promised. Some owners of hybrid vehicles get dramatically lower mileage than advertised. When they take the car in to find out what is wrong, the dealers have conflicting stories.

Some are told that there is a "break in" period and the car has to be driven a certain number of miles before getting the promised hybrid vehicle gas mileage. This information was not in the sales brochure, and even after the "break in" period the promised mileage does not happen. They may then be told that they have to drive the hybrid vehicle in a certain way, i.e., coasting and minimal acceleration. Anyone who has driven on today’s freeways knows that driving this way is hazardous, not just to yourself, but to others. This too was not in the sales brochure.The manufacturers are often hiding behind the EPA estimates and the caveat that "actual mileage may vary". Some owners are getting approximately half the miles per gallon that were advertised. If you are promised 51 mpg and are getting 25 to 30 mpg, it is reasonable to assume you did not expect it to vary that much. If the mileage you are getting with reasonable use is substantially less than what was promised, please feel free to contact our office.

This is what Honda told one client when he called and complained about the poor mileage on his Civic Hybrid.

I can understand his complaint/concern that his actual mileage differs from the mileage estimate provided on the Monroney Label. Advised client the tests performed were developed over 30 years ago and do not reflect real driving situations, let alone driving habits of consumers in the modern day. advised additionally these tests do not take Hybrid vehicles into consideration, and Hybrid vehicle estimates are inflated based on the test procedures. Advised client Hybrid vehicles are more dramatically affected by outside influences such as air conditioning, driving habits, windows up/down, and vehicle load than normal combustion engines. Advised Hybrids require a particular driving style in order to be fuel efficient, and short trips penalize hybrid efficiency more so than regular cars.

If Honda used this or similar language when you called, then please contact our office.

If You Are Having This Problem

Please feel free to call (858) 270-7000 or contact us here.

San Diego Lemon Law Center | The Law Office of Michael E. Lindsey
Tel: (858) 270-7000 Fax: (858) 270-7710 | 4455 Morena Blvd., Ste. 207 San Diego, CA, 92117 (see map)

General Information Only

The information in the San Diego Lemon Law Center pages is for general information only and is not intended to be taken as legal advice. If you have a specific legal question or problem, please feel free to contact us or you should promptly consult with an Attorney handling such matters in your area for advice.