Hyundai And Kia Get Less MPG, Customers Get Their Money Back

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Hyundai has long been in the top spots of America’s most fuel miserly vehicles. Over night, Hyundai will drop a few rungs down. Audited and found wrong by the EPA, Hyundai and Kia agreed to restate the fuel economy ratings on many of its cars. Cars in showrooms will be relabeled. Customers of more than a million 2011 through 2013 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada will receive debit cards.

Most labels see a reduction by one to two miles per gallon. The Kia Soul receives a a six mpg highway reduction. The 2012 Hyundai/Kia fleet fuel economy level will drop from 27 to 26 MPG, the company says.

With the debit cards, customers will be reimbursed for the difference between the overstated and the restated fuel economy rating, based on the fuel price in their area and their miles driven. An extra 15 percent will be added for the inconvenience. Current owners will be able to refresh their debit card for as long as they own the vehicle. Prior owners of affected vehicles who have already sold their cars will also be reimbursed using the same formula.

“Given the importance of fuel efficiency to all of us, we’re extremely sorry about these errors,” said John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “When we say to Hyundai owners, ‘We’ve got your back,’ that’s an assurance we don’t take lightly.”

For more information about reimbursement and a complete list of eligible vehicles, customers can visit and

Join the conversation
7 of 59 comments
  • Pch101 Pch101 on Nov 02, 2012

    "Procedural errors at the automakers’ joint testing operations in Korea led to incorrect fuel economy ratings for select vehicle lines." Translation: "Our testing was overseen by the marketing department." Mr. Baruth probably should write a follow-up on this:

  • Carbufbruce Carbufbruce on Nov 02, 2012

    This surprises me as a 2012 Elantra owner. I have not had any trouble achieving the EPA ratings with my Elantra GLS manual transmission car. My overall mileage over 20,400 miles (about 50% highway)is right at 37 mpg. Admittedly, I do upshift as soon as possible, but I generally drive at 5 mph over the speed limit, except in town. I do notice that headwinds have a much greater impact on mileage than my previous car, 2003 Toyota Corolla. I suspect the Elantra has a higher drag coefficient than the published number. The mileage drops off more at speeds over 70 mph than the Toyota did. Still, I've been happy with the car's mileage.

    • See 1 previous
    • Sunridge place Sunridge place on Nov 03, 2012

      @highdesertcat Do you really think you have a 100k mile bumper to bumper warranty in a Hyundai? Really???

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Nov 02, 2012

    I had no trouble in my 2011 Forte meeting and exceeding the published highway rating, when I took a full highway trip (which was only twice). I easily got 37 and change out of a car rated at 34 going 80 mph. I tracked the mileage for 15,000 miles and got an average of 29.2 with a 70/30 city/highway split. I've never bothered trying to figure out my "city" or "highway" mileage because I rarely have a 100% tank of either.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Nov 03, 2012

    I really think this is a time to concentrate on the positive. This is an offer bigger than the likely settlement. And, it's just to darn right. I look at this and am even more likely to buy a Kia than I was before. We all ought to be praising this idea. I would be thousands ahead if all the consumer class actions that have resulted in zero value had been handled like this. Could the airlines send people to South Korea to take notes? No company is perfect, they screwed up, and their solution is costing more than the sales they would have lost. I bet it doesn't happen again any time soon. I want more companies to behave this way.

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Nov 03, 2012

      Every manufacturer has good vehicles and every manufacturer has lemons. It's the nature of the beast. We know several people in our area who choose to drive Hyundai and Kia vehicles. If they were not happy campers they wouldn't be repeat buyers. Our mailman has been delivering mail in his Sedona for years and was a repeat customer. Others at our church drove an Optima and recently traded it for a sleek new one. They were repeat customers. And recently another lady we know traded her old Sorento for a brand new one. These people don't care about mpg. Most people understand that there are a ton of external factors that determine the mpg you achieve. And the quality of gas in many places is horrible. That alone knocks down mpg a bunch. You can't match what the factory testing achieves. Most people don't whine about mpg. They just want a decent vehicle at a great price. In many cases Hyundai and Kia provide just that, a decent vehicle at a great price with many of them built in America, by Americans, for Americans. You can't beat that.