Hyundai, Kia retract mileage claims
Automakers overestimated mpg, will compensate buyers
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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Part 1 - Companies who want to sell stuff want their stuff to sound and look good to us. They hire marketing departments to make their stuff sound and look good to us.
They hire lobbyists to help lawmakers determine what laws make it to the books. Lawmakers also control the purse-strings (directly or indirectly) of the agencies who oversee the application of laws, and supposedly penalize companies who don't comply. (NOTE: there is a big difference between assessing a fine for non-compliance and actually having that fine paid - see 'coal-mining industry'). The fact that the EPA even had the budget to test a an auto maker's products is amazing, until you ask yourself: why doesn't the EPA test all the manufacturers for accuracy, and produce a ranking so we could all see who the biggest liars are (I don't know about you, but, when I have gotten into conversations about MPG stickers, the accepted belief is they are all inaccurate). The EPA is not stupid: they know if they went after a domestic they could count on repurcussions, so they go after (arguably) one of the least-likely to give them too much grief: a non-Japanese foreign make.
Part 2: I bought a new 2007 Hyundai Accent and owned it until a year ago, putting 115,000 miles on it commuting to and from work in the Seattle area. The car was rated at 27/32. On regular gasoline I consistently got 29-30 combined. With premium, and driving a little less aggressively than I normally would (shifting to a higher gear earlier) I experienced 34-35 consistently, with the exception of the first few tanks (during break-in). I only point this out because, based on my personal experience, I think the EPA could have picked a bigger target than Hyundai. Which leads me to ask: why Hyundai? Maybe the lobbyists for the other companies want their stuff to sound and look good to us!
Part 3: I notice that my mileage and performance seem to suffer when ethanol is added to my gasoline, is it just me? Why don't the MPG figures reflect that in their reporting? Why can't I get a MPG rating for Premium fuel, regular fuel, and fuel with ethanol added? Wouldn't that be the way to do it? ( I know, the EPA ratings are 'averages').
i mean people will know that small cars and small engines will get better mpg than a big truck with big engine and empty cargo bed.
They also lied about the Sonata.
I bought a 2012 in dec 2011 and have never gotten anywhere near their stated mileage.
Whenever I questioned the Serivce Dept or their US HQ Customer Service, they danced around the subject and send it depends on the driver.
When I pointed out my driving style is very conservative, then I was told I needed a 3 month breaking in period. When that was over, they once again tried to blame it on me.
I only average around 25mpg and bought the car because my 10 yr old 6cly Nissan Max. averaged 20 and I wanted to get the higher rates.
What a rip off.
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