Could one of the Detroit auto makers blown the whistle on Hyundai and Kia’s mileage figures? Automotive News seems to think so.
According to AN, Margo Oge, a retired EPA official, said it was
a “credible” senior vice president from a domestic automaker called her in 2010 to accuse the Korean brands of “cheating” to get inflated mpg numbers. Based on the tip, Oge launched an audit that led Hyundai and Kia to admit they made bogus fuel-economy claims.
GM and Chrysler issued unequivocal denials over whether they were the guilty party. Ford’s answer didn’t pass AN‘s smell test. Ford stated that
“We cannot comment on any specific discussions, but Ford routinely speaks with policymakers about a wide variety of issues affecting our industry,” a company spokesman wrote in an e-mail. “We have been — and remain — an advocate of driving real fuel economy gains because it is in the best interest of our customers.”
Two issues here
1) We put forward a rather veiled suggestion that this whole thing was somewhat fishy in light of the circumstances surrounding previous questions about the Ford Fusion Hybrid’s fuel economy claims. Backroom chats with other industry types yileded more explicit suggestions that despite Hyundai/Kia’s wrongdoing, this whole thing was a witch hunt.
2) If Ford really was behind this, it’s hardly an opportune time for them to be pontificating about fuel economy claims.