By on November 7, 2012

Well, we knew this one was inevitable. A compliant filed in Ohio court against Hyundai and Kia due to their overly optimistic fuel economy claims.

Automotive News outlined the nature of the complaint, which is seeking class-action status

The complaint, filed Sunday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, seeks attorney fees as well as unspecified damages for U.S. consumers who purchased or leased any of the eight Hyundai and five Kia nameplates cited in the suit.

The suit also asks the court to permit Ohio consumers who bought Hyundai or Kia vehicles with misstated mileage labels to back out of their purchase or lease agreements.

Meanwhile, The Detroit News is quoting Moody’s on the cost of the debacle, with the ratings agency throwing out nine-figure sums as the cost of making things right

Moody’s, one of the nation’s major ratings houses, said it estimates that Hyundai Motor — including Kia — “will incur additional annual costs of about $100 million until the affected models are largely scrapped, which is less than 1 percent of its adjusted” earnings.

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26 Comments on “Hyundai/Kia Fuel Economy Lawsuits In Motion, Compensation Could Total $100 Million...”


  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Let’s see. If this goes like other class action suits for products that I have been bought, the lawyers will take 90+% of the award, and the Hyundai customer will get a coupon good for $100 off their next car purchas.
    Probably better to opt out and sue in small claims court.

  • avatar
    dwford

    All a big waste of time. Hyundai/Kia is already comensating owners. Th Kia estimator shows my sister getting $250 for the miles shes driven so far on her Soul. Not going to get much more from a lawsuit, and certianly not lifetime payments!

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      As I understand it, Hyundai/Kia’s current compensation scheme will only pay you for the miles you’ve already driven, plus about 15% for your inconvenience. If you keep the car for five more years, you won’t get anything for the reduced fuel economy versus what you were promised over those five years, nor will you get anything for the reduced resale value of the car due to the lower-than-advertised fuel economy.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    I’m fine with the compensation package they have already. I’m in line to get about $135 out of this. That’s 2 tanks of gas in my Veloster here in the Great Taxed North.

  • avatar
    tikki50

    Im happy they’re getting the book thrown at them, about time, when you lie bad enough for this to happen, its ALL fair. I recall other manufacturers getting hammered in the past, Ford is one. Karma is a B. They knew exactly what they were doing and it back fired. They get exactly whats coming to them lots of lawsuits and a whole bunch of bad press. Besides its not first time they were caught lieing.

  • avatar
    hf_auto

    I’m curious to see whether lawsuits come from competitive OEMs and dealerships. They arguably lost sales due to the MPG numbers and are not being compensated by H/K under the current settlement.

    Of course, that might open pandora’s box and require the OEMs to share the details of their own fuel economy testing.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    Hyundai was on my list of cars I was considering. Now its not. They lie.

  • avatar
    Loser

    Why just single out Hyundai/Kia? Obviously they are not the only ones that stretch the truth on their MPG numbers. If this suit is successful it will be open season on all manufacturers.

  • avatar
    areader

    “They knew exactly what they were doing and it back fired.”

    Hyundai has a history of bad behavior. In 2006 the head of Hyundai Motor, Chung Mong Koo, was arrested on charges of embezzlement and other corruption. I can’t find a reference, but as I remember he was convicted of that and other good deeds like bribery. At one point I think he and his son were both in the slammer at the same time. His son also had some high position in the company. He was convicted but avoided serving time due to his importance to the company. I’ve read lots of stories about their terrible treatment of US executives they hired, mistreated and then fired. No way I’d touch any of their vehicles.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    Every car i’ve bought i take the mpg ratings with a grain of salt. As they say, “Your mileage may vary.” If i got what they rated the car at, great, if i got better, than awesome. If i got worse than i chalked it up to my admitedly heavy foot, but never in a million years would i take them to court over it. We really are a country of people that pretty much sue over anything.

    So on the flip side are you supposed to send the manufacturer a check for tha gas you save if it’s better than the advertised mpg? Ok i’m just being silly now.

    • 0 avatar
      SunnyvaleCA

      The implication here is that Hyundai/Kia misrepresented their cars by cheating at the required tests. When consumers, reviewers, competing manufacturers, and even Michael Karesh mention the numbers being off, they still persisted with their false claims for years.

      A smart car company in their position that actually believed they were scoring accurately on the tests would have begged the EPA to verify the cars. If the cars passed, it would have covered their rears and generated fabulous marketing hype in these days of $4 fuel. As it turns out, they probably knew all along that they were cheating and were just hoping they wouldn’t get caught… or if they did get caught they would get penalized less than the previous benefit.

      I’m glad that the company’s penalty is to more-or-less make good on their claims financially to the customer.

      • 0 avatar
        Tosh

        Sunnyvale: Would you also be ‘glad’ if the burglar who broke into your house and stole your VCR didn’t serve any jail time, but only ‘more-or-less made good’ and volunteered to fix your window and give back your VCR?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Tosh,
        That comparison is a fallacy. The EPA mileage number debacle is a misrepresentation at worst, not actual theft.

  • avatar
    BrianL

    Hyundai has had to change HP numbers before. Now they are change MPG numbers and I think many people don’t think that their current HP numbers are accurate either. They don’t submit to SAE testing.

    IMHO, it seems that we are getting the truth stretched a little too much from Hyundai. This kind of thing will turn off buyers.

  • avatar
    punkybrewstershubby aka Troy D.

    My 2007 Ford Focus has an EPA of 24/33. What do I average? About 23 in town and 36 on the highway. If your cars’ manufacturer lied to you, sue them. I, however, love my Focus!

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Maybe the H/K engineers and executives will serve time alongside the Italian scientists who didn’t predict the deadly earthquake.

    I don’t see how MPG estimates can receive such scrutiny when they are subject to so many variables.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      They’re called estimates in that the real world has too many variables to state a mileage number with any certainty.

      But arriving at those estimates isn’t an estimate at all. The EPA specifies every last detail of the test to be run. That test is too divorced from the real world to give meaningful results but it’s absolutely repeatable and consistent with itself.

      Hyundai cheated on the test so they could market better numbers, plain and simple.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    Just for grins, allow me to propose an alternative thought: does our government even need to be involved in measuring (or prescribing how to measure) the fuel economy of cars? If these standards had never been written, the likely outcome would be some independent groups (e.g. Consumer Reports and others) developing and publishing their own tests. Consumers could access those results (which would likely be far more reliable given real testing instead of calculations) and purchase as they see fit.
    Maybe I’m out of the norm, but I simply don’t pay attention to the MPG figures when I’m looking at a car. Like others who responded above, I assume they’re a general guide and understand that my mileage will vary because driving conditions vary.
    I think this is something our government could simply stop doing and the “market” would pick up the slack with likely better results.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I hope this serves as a lesson to other car makers not to try to fool car shoppers, this ain’t the 80’s anymore.


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