Ford Fined $19.2M for Overstating Payload, MPG Numbers

Best in-class payload? When it comes to buying a Ford truck, think again. In news that hits close to home for many truck camper owners, the Ford Motor Co will pay $19.2 million to resolve allegations it overstated the fuel economy and payload rating numbers for its 2011-2014 Super Duty pickup trucks, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office just reported.

The settlement, backed by 40 states and the District of Columbia, prohibits Ford from making false or misleading advertising claims concerning the estimated fuel economy and the payload capacity of its new vehicles. The settlement states that Ford used a “deceptive methodology” for reclaiming the “best-in-class” payload after other makes had surpassed Ford in these all-important metrics. For truck camper owners, nothing is more important than these two numbers.

Ford did not admit to wrongdoing.

Surprisingly, the investigation found that Ford advertised a truck configuration it did not actually intend to sell to consumers—one that omitted such standards like the spare wheel, tire and jack, radio, and center console, omissions that can add hundreds of pounds to a truck’s payload rating. As a result, Ford was able to falsely the payload ratings of its 2011-2014 F250, F350, F450, and F550 Super Duty trucks.

Options can either hurt or help a truck’s payload rating, which is why Ford’s misleading advertising is so egregious. One can’t help but wonder what other deceptions occurred with Ford’s advertising numbers? The world may never know.

About Mello Mike 890 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. A communications expert and licensed ham radio operator (KK7TCA), he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, holds a BS degree, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side. He currently rolls in a 4WD Ram 3500 outfitted with a SherpTek truck bed with a Bundutec Roadrunner mounted on top.


  1. Also, probably not a good idea to spend your life savings on a hobby like this. It’s fun but for the rich.

  2. Was on the fence when we bought our 2017 F250 gas for our Larado camper. Had is custom made with a super cab so we are at 22 feet to get on Alaska ferries for less money and WA ferries. Went with Ford specifically for the payload. We MUCh higher than a Dodge or Chevy at the time. Have no regretted it. We have traveled all over the place with the combo and it has been great. I would like a diesel 1 ton just not sure which brand to upgrade too. I have friends with both Chevy and Dodge and newer one have had nothing but problems with their 1 tons, especially the Dodge, Which is the way I am leaning. i don’t know, might have to stick with the Ford. And I was never partial to any one brand. Facts mater.

  3. MORE PROOF STATED GVWR IS JUST A MARKETING NUMBER! Nothing in this lawsuit had anything to do with safety or liability for overloaded trucks causing accidents. It had everything to do with pumping up fuel economy numbers and false advertising. Ford sold hundreds of thousands of these trucks that many owners routinely overloaded based on the payload capacity yet there is no correlated increase in accidents or deaths. Non-issue!

  4. In my opion, the real world GVW numbers in all three of the Detroit brands are probably under stated. How many TC owners are actually under the GVW sticker on their truck and the trucks seem to do fine?
    I’m not suggesting you put a Mammoth or Lance triple slide on a F350 or 3500 SRW truck, but these trucks are pretty tough.

    • The frame and axle can hold a lot more than stated payload. OEM’s “increase” payload by upgrading components like adding heavier springs or helper springs. You can do the same to your rig, and you should. The sticker is irrelevant as even if you are driving commercial they are concerned about the weight per axle (20,000lbs) which has to do with wear and tear on the roads.

  5. I am not Gordon the chief of the weight police. Gordon is also a mopar enthusiast. As I stated I am a Ford person. My name is Joe Baggin.

  6. I’m a ford guy and you have insulted me! Mopar madness! Truck camper magazine rules!

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