Dealer Group Filed a Lawsuit Alleging That Hyundai Falsely Inflated EV Sales Numbers

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Automakers are locked in a heated battle for EV supremacy in the United States, but one dealer group is alleging that Hyundai’s numbers might not be entirely accurate. Napleton Automotive Group in Illinois recently filed a lawsuit, saying the automaker pressured them to re-code unsold inventory as part of their loaner fleet.

That move would make sales figures look better without dealers moving any additional EV inventory. Hyundai also allegedly dangled allocations of in-demand models to dealers who complied and threatened to withhold vehicles from those who didn’t. Uncooperative dealers also reportedly lost access to Hyundai’s “Flex Cash” program, which gave them room to discount high-volume models.

Lawsuit documentation includes a phone call transcript, during which a Hyundai district manager told a dealer that the company is “up against the wall.” A Hyundai spokesperson stated that the company does not condone the falsification of sales numbers and said that it had opened an internal investigation. “We intend to take any and all corrective and remedial actions required based on that investigation,” they said.

Napleton alleges that Hyundai’s recent statement that it would face headwinds in the second half of the year was due to the coding scheme. It’s worth noting that the dealer group is locked in another legal battle with Hyundai in Florida, where the automaker terminated its franchise agreement due to the Napleton owner’s son being charged with sexual battery of an employee.

[Images: Hyundai]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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2 of 19 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jul 10, 2024
    Kia > Hyundai
  • Theflyersfan Theflyersfan on Jul 10, 2024
    Check the business dealings of the sales manager. Also see if his wife was kidnapped and if a really tall Scandinavian guy and a short guy with bad teeth are hanging around. There might be some funny business going on.
  • VoGhost Fantastic work by Honda design. When I first saw the pictures, I thought "Is that a second gen Acura NSX?"
  • V16 2025 VW GLI...or 2025 Honda Civic SI? Same target audience, similar price points. Both are rays of sun in the gray world of SUV'S.
  • FreedMike Said this before and I'll say it again: I'm not that exercised about this whole "pay for a subscription" thing, as long as the deal's reasonable. And here's how you make it reasonable: offer it a monthly charge. Let's say that adaptive headlights are a $500 option on this vehicle, and the subscription is $15 a month, or $540 over a three year lease. So you try the feature for a month, and if you like it, you keep it; if you don't, then you discontinue it, like a Netflix subscription. In any case, you didn't get charged $500 up front the feature. That's not a bad deal.In my case, let's say VW offers an over the air chip reflash that gives me another 25 hp. The total price of the upgrade is $1,000 (which is what a reflash would cost you in the aftermarket). If they offered me a one time monthly subscription for $50 to try it out, I'd take it. In other words, maybe the news isn't all bad.
  • 2ACL A good car, but - at least in this configuration -not one that should command a premium. Its qualities just aren't as enduring as those of Honda's contemporary sports cars. For better or worse, this is a formula they remain able to replicate.
  • Jalop1991 I just read that Tesla's profits are WAY down "as the electric vehicle company has faced both more EV competition from established automakers and a slowing of overall EV sales growth." This Cadillac wouldn't help Tesla at all, but the slowing market of EV sales overall means this should be a halo/boutique car. Regardless, yes, they should make it.