Ruling on fuel figures

The Disputes Tribunal has ruled in favour of a consumer who made an application based on a vehicle’s fuel-economy figures.

A 2014 Ford Kuga Titanium.

A 2014 Ford Kuga Titanium.

Bruce Campbell bought a 2014 Ford Kuga Titanium Ecoboost AWD in April 2014 after claiming he was told its fuel economy would be 7.7l/100km.

The tribunal was ruled in favour of Campbell, of Marton, and has been awarded $6,000 in compensation. He says the decision to buy the car was based on an understanding of what its fuel economy was as stated on its window card and what he was told by the dealership’s sales manage, which denied the claims, reports the NZ Herald.

Despite multiple visits to the dealer, the best Campbell says he was able to achieve was 9.4l/100km and a one he claims it was averaging 12.9l/100km. When he contacted Wanganui Motors, he claims he was told there was a “bedding in” period and fuel efficiency would improve with more mileage.

Campbell travelled about 11,000km before trading in the car and claimed $8,250 from Wanganui Motors.

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The tribunal referee ruled: “The evidence of Ford NZ that the expected fuel economy of the Kuga Titanium was 9.4l/110km persuades me that – even taking into account the factors that could contribute to fuel economy of a vehicle, that the [dealer’s] statement the fuel economy was 7.7l/100km was incorrect and a misrepresentation, irrespective of factors that could contribute to a lower fuel economy.”

The referee was satisfied this was an “innocent misrepresentation” by Wanganui Motors because it relied on incorrect information given to them by Ford. The $6,000 award was based on the owner’s loss of 0.75c per km over 8000km.

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