By on December 24, 2013


Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America have agreed to pay as much as $395 million to settle class action lawsuits filed after the Korean automakers overstated fuel economy ratings on about 900,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. Hyundai’s share will be as much as $210 million while Kia will have to pay up to $185 million, according to statements issued by the companies and reports by Automotive News. The settlements must still undergo court review, expected early next year.

The lawsuits were filed after the companies disclosed in November of 2012 that approximately 600,000 Hyundais and 300,000 Kias from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 model years were sold with EPA fuel economy ratings that weren’t accurate. The U.S. EPA relies on testing results provided by car companies. At the time of the announcement, Hyundai and Kia officials apologized blaming flawed internal testing procedures for the overstatements. Eight models were affected and most consumers say the combined MPG ratings of their cars fall by one or two miles per gallon.

Over 50 lawsuits have been consolidated into a single case being handled in federal court in Los Angeles and the dollar figures work out to an average lump sum payment of ~$353 to the affected Hyundai owners and ~$667 to each affected Kia consumer.

John Yoon, attorney for Kia Motors America, said in a statement: “Kia Motors is a responsible company, and the proposed settlement enhances our goal of making things right for our customers by providing new reimbursement options. Kia Motors is fully committed to taking care of its customers, and today’s settlement adds flexibility by adding lump-sum payment options to the transparent reimbursement program introduced last year.”

The actual amounts paid out will depend on how many owners choose to receive lump sum payments. The owners also have the option of continuing to participate in the existing reimbursement program Hyundai and Kia started back when their vehicles’ fuel economy ratings were restated. Current and past owners participating in the reimbursement program receive debit cards to compensate them for the extra gasoline that they’ve had to buy.

“Customers responded favorably to the original reimbursement program,” W. Gerald Flannery, general counsel for Hyundai Motor America, said in a statement. “Today’s settlement is designed to provide them with an option, again intended to make customers fully whole for Hyundai’s fuel economy ratings restatement.”

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12 Comments on “Overstating MPGs May Cost Hyundai & Kia $395 Million in Proposed Settlement...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I hope this ends it. H/K has already admitted to their infraction, set up a reimbursement program, and now will be writing more checks.

    Consider the many other mfrs (pick one you love to hate) who arrogantly deny wrongdoing year after year.

    BTW, as MPG claims go higher each year, so will consumer claims that find fault with the numbers. Small percentages of big numbers will mean seemingly large differences in mileage. Yet consumers have no idea how unrelated EPA numbers are from their daily driving habits – in reality, the EPA system is broken.

    • 0 avatar

      they didn’t admit and reimburse without being sued and dragged all over the Internet.

      so yes, the lawuit etc, still is necessary.

      In a time before Internet (when we only had monoplized media) no one woudl have known about this since no one wants to lose the H/K advertisement money.thank god today we have the Interenet, TTAC et al and those cheaters get outed.

  • avatar

    But Dad, everybody does it….

  • avatar

    This whole MPG thing is so stupid. No car gets the advertised MPG simply because no 2 drivers drive alike, the same distance, the same route or haul the same amount of mass.

    My cars get 10.1 miles per gallon on a good day but their stickers claim 14 city. Is that an overstatement?

    • 0 avatar

      You don’t understand what standardized testign is for…. it is the rating for the standardized conditions.

      It is the worst system, except every other possible system.

      What else would you propose to give consumers an indication to compare vehicle A to B? At least you can compare, and your mileage may vary. an EPA 30mpg city veheicle will use less than an EPA 25 mpg vehicle. Neither may actually have the advertised mileage, but the approx. difference should be there.

      I usually get ~the advertised mileage.

    • 0 avatar

      I hit or pass my window sticker’s mixed driving number. Isn’t your jeep supercharged? Considering I knew someone with an SRT8 GC that was naturally aspirated and he was doing 9mpg, I’d say your doing pretty good yourself.

  • avatar

    Hyundai committed MPG fraud. Big difference from gaming the system.

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