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Hyundai, Kia retract mileage claims

Automakers overestimated mpg, will compensate buyers

By AutoWeek Nov 2, 2012 5:39AM
The Hyundai Elantra doesn't get 40 mpg on the highway, as the automaker once claimed. (© Hyundai Motor America)





Hyundai and Kia overstated the estimated fuel economy on more than 900,000 U.S. vehicles sold over the past two years and will compensate owners for the faulty claims, a newspaper reported.


In addition, the South Korean partners will lower the fuel-economy estimates on most of their 2012 and 2013 models, the Detroit News said. The move follows an investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which found discrepancies between its own test results and company figures.


The newspaper said Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik attributed the problem to "procedural errors" in the automaker's own testing. He said Hyundai has identified the source of discrepancies between its testing method and the EPA's recommended approach.


"Given the importance of fuel efficiency to all of us, we're extremely sorry about these errors," Krafcik said. "We're going to make this right."


Michael Sprague, executive vice president for marketing at Kia Motors America, also apologized in an interview with the newspaper.


The newspaper said Hyundai will retract its claim that it leads the industry with four models that get 40 miles per gallon on the highway. According to EPA records obtained by the paper, the estimated highway mileages of the 2013 Accent, Veloster and Elantra will fall to 37 or 38 mpg.


The combined average fuel economy for Hyundai and Kia models will fall to 26 mpg from 27 mpg for the 2012 model year, the News said.


The newspaper said Hyundai and Kia dealers will check odomoters to determine how much owners might have saved had they achieved the stated gas mileage.


The companies will then add 15 percent to that dollar total and send debit cards to owners for as long as they own their cars.


Sprague told the newspaper that an owner who drove 15,000 miles in Florida this year in a car with an overstated fuel economy of 1 mpg would get a refund of about $88.


New window stickers with the adjusted fuel-economy figures should be applied to unsold Hyundais and Kias within days, Krafcik told the newspaper.


Hyundai and Kia are owned by the same parent company and share factories, research, platforms and powertrains across many car and light-truck models.


However, they market and sell models through separate dealership channels.


The Associated Press said the EPA received about a dozen complaints from consumers that the mileage on their 2012 Hyundai Elantra compact cars didn't match the numbers on the window stickers.


"Consumers rely on the window sticker to help make informed choices about the cars they buy," Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator of the EPA's air-quality office, said in a statement cited by the AP. "EPA's investigation will help protect consumers and ensure a level playing field among automakers."


-- Automotive News


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Nov 2, 2012 9:15AM
I have a 2012 Lincoln MKX that is way smaller than the gas hog GMC Envoy that we had.  The Envoy never got better than 16mpg.  We sold it for the MKX which was rated at 16-23mpg.  I hoped to get 20mpg but have never got better than 16mpg again.  These numbers are a joke and the automakers know it!
Nov 2, 2012 9:11AM
Keep the ethanol out of the fuel and everyone would get better mileage. 
Nov 2, 2012 9:09AM
r u kidding,  auto companies r full of bull. INCLUDING ALL COMPANIES. AM I CORRECT.?
Nov 2, 2012 9:07AM
It's called lying to make a buck. It's the American/Korean/Chinese/European way
Nov 2, 2012 9:06AM
Driving habits are critical to your mileage.  I have a 4-cylinder, 5-speed Toyota Maxtix that I get 34 mpg in town and 42 on the interstate. Its estimate is only 27 / 34.  On a recent trip in the Colorado mountains - all 2 lane roads with 11,000 foot passes to drive over - I got an average of 39.6 mpg.
Nov 2, 2012 9:02AM
I don't care what brand of car you own/drive the mileage depends on your type of driving,(ie) slow/fast starts,how you approach a trafic light and the speed driving on Interstate highways and country roads or the use of the cruse control on level or hilly roads. I get 35/36 mpg on our 2011 Chev at 60mph or below, at 65 or above it drops to28mph.
Nov 2, 2012 8:59AM
There should be additional fines for FRAUDULENT ADVERTISING! Who knows how many sales were lost by competitors as a result of this FRAUDULENT ADVERTISING!
Nov 2, 2012 8:56AM

S. Korea build decent vehicles that will go plenty of mile before they wear out.  Also, they seemed to lag behind in the mpg department a few years ago.  Today 37 or 38 is better than before.  I'm glad  that they offered to reimburse for the difference when they over stated their mpg on their new cars.  All manufactures should do the same.


My wife drives a 2011 Sonata and I drive a 2012 Veloster.  The wife drives her Sonata 70 miles per

day, mostly freeway driving and according to the Hyundai computer she averages 37 mph and gets 34 mpg.  On a 1200 mile trip across West Texas with the AC runing and speeds of 65-70 we averaged

37.3 mpg.  Dam good I would say.  The Veloster never leaves town aand averages 18 mph and gets 28 mpg.  It's all about the way you drive and where you drive.  The wife and I are both satisfied.

p.s.  I worked for General Motors for 33 years


jim McLarky

Nov 2, 2012 8:54AM
On the one hand, when have EPA mileage figures EVER been correct?  And these 'errors' are by only 1 or 2 MPG?  Second;  by the mere fact that Hyundai and KIA ARE coming forward voluntarily with this and offering compensation is why every potential buyer of a new economy car today SHOULD buy a Hyundai or a KIA.  You think Toyota, Honda or Nissan would have shown the same transparency?  No way!  They would have sicked their lawyers on it to spin the story into a complete coverup.  Hyundai and KIA are the best-made econocars and the best value on the market today.  If you've a brain in your head, you'll buy one!  This story demonstrates the favorable ethics that these two automakers have.  Good for them!
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