Hyundai and Kia have admitted to overstating the fuel economy on more than one-third of the vehicles they have sold in recent years. The automakers, who are the two fastest-growing auto brands in the United States, issued an apology and said they would grant special debit cards to the nearly one million car owners to make up for the difference in lower miles per gallon logged by each vehicle.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered the issue after consumers of the vehicle had started to complain. Hyundai and Kia blamed the discrepancy on “procedural errors” at a jointly operated test center in South Korea. According to the EPA, this is the largest case ever in which an automaker inflated its fuel economy numbers. The special debit cards will reimburse customers for the difference between the company mileage claims and what the EPA determines is the appropriate fuel economy rating for combined city and highway driving.
The personal payment will also be determined by the fuel price in the region where the car owners live and on the miles they drive. That figure will also include a 15% bonus payment due to the inconvenience caused by the companies’ false advertising. People who once owned the cars, but no longer do, will still receive a reimbursement. Complaints from the car owners incited the EPA to test the fuel economy of a 2012 Hyundai Elantra, where the EPA began to find discrepancies and ultimately issued an investigation.
In total, the automakers overstated the fuel economy for over 900,000 vehicles or about 35% of the 2011-2013 model lines. For more information, contact your local Hyundai or Kia dealerships. For legal assistance, please contact us at Friedman, Domiano, & Smith