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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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173Comments
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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. 

Nov 2, 2012 8:04AM
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So basically this CEO is stating that they fudged their testing to get better results using a different test method than the one the EPA recommends. Basically, the were caught lying and now he's back peddling to cover himself. And, as usual, our government won't do anything to punish them. The wealthy get more wealthy and the poor and middle class (soon to be the poor) pay for it.
Nov 2, 2012 7:59AM
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You can have your little import gas sniffers, I'll keep my 2002 Buick Regal that still gets 28mpg on the road and 21 mpg around town. I traded in a Toyota Avalon that didn't do THAT good.
Nov 2, 2012 7:56AM
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I own a 2010 Kia Optima ...... I get 25 MPG ...... Combined. No matter what gas I use, nor maintence I do. The car willonly get you 25MPG; however, the good part is:  I can use the cheapest gasoline, use the Air Conditioner. Drive it rough or drive it easy. It will not matter, so that is good. I must say that I drove my Optima from Las Vegas, Nevada to San Diego, California with out gasing up, so I did get 38-42 miles a gallon.  People must realize that automobiles get different milage and many factors contribute to that. Alltitute, Hills, Stop and Go, Pollution, your Exhaust Sysatem, how you Brake if you are varing your speed, Cruise Controll, how much you are on your gasoline peddle. How you stop at  lights that are coming up. Example if you coast to a light, or you hit your Brakes hard on a stop. Your grade of Oil, your Filters, and many other things.  I use to work for a company in Las Vegas, Nevad we tested: Mercede Benz, and BMW, Kia, Hyundia.  Our test showed that the Kyundia, and Kia were among the best in MPG, Maintenence, and many other factors mae these cars better then the Mercedes Benze, BMW, Toyota, Honda, GM.  I would not get upset at Hyundia, or Kia....... you are very lucky not to own Mercedes, and BMW...... they brake down a lot, and very exspensive to maintain.  When we tested these cars in the Mojave Desert, and different stituations...... your Kias, and Hyundia were superior in all of our test. If you are ever in Vegas, and you see a Tarp over an automobile or SUV.... it just might be us. In Lake Las Vegas we did testing on Audi...... they are also not very good cars; however, Fords are very good. 

Nov 2, 2012 7:52AM
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 I just bought a 2013 Ford Focus that is suppose to get 26 city and 36 highway. I filled up last night my mpg was only 24!  My Civic came the closes to achieving claimed mpg on a trip from Cali to Vegas at 37 mpg.

 

Nov 2, 2012 7:51AM
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I can't afford a new car but my "new" 2004 Kia Rio Cinco consistently gets about 31 MPG which I'm pleased with since it was rated at 28 city 33 Hwy and I do mostly city driving.  I've had it since February and I estimate it's saved me over $820 since my van got such horrible MPG.  I did my research about the car's reliability and MPG before I bought it and I can't complain.
Nov 2, 2012 7:49AM
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all cars can get great gas milage but oil and car compainis are in bed together so this will never happen
Nov 2, 2012 7:48AM
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You are so full of crap there is no way your Camry  only gets 20 miles per gallon so this tells me you probably are a hater of Toyota and don't own a Camry! And saying 20 mpg on a 4 cyl LIAR LIAR LIAR

Nov 2, 2012 7:42AM
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The biggest problem is the use of ethanol blended gasoline. It takes 1 and 1/2 gallons of ethanol to equal the BTU output of one gallon of regular non blended gasoline. Add to that the ethanol is a 'dry' fuel that accelerates the wear in engine components and you reduce both the life and efficiency of the engine. Now add to that the cost to produce ethanol fuel in regards to the higher use of diesel to produce and deliver the ethanol and you have even more waste. Then as a final condemnation of the use of ethanol it reduces the average mile per gallon efficiency by over one mpg for the average car or truck. Is it any wonder the federal government does not care about the inefficiency since they tax consumption on the gallon of gas you purchase at the pump? The inefficiency raises more money for the government...so they are in the business of preventing higher efficiency to a large extent to make more money to waste on pet projects.

 

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