Print 27 comment(s) - last by danwat12345.. on Mar 25 at 10:30 PM

This time, Hyundai gets called out in home market of South Korea

Hyundai/Kia last caught flak in late 2012 with regards to inflated fuel economy claims in over 1 million vehicles. After being audited by the EPA, the company admitted that “errors” were made in its fuel economy calculations.
“Given the importance of fuel efficiency to all of us, we’re extremely sorry about these errors,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, back in November 2012. 

2015 Hyundai Sonata
It appears that Hyundai didn’t learn its lesson the first time around (which cost is nearly $400 million), and has admitted to another “error” in calculating the fuel economy for its redesigned, home-market Sonata. Hyundai had initially stated that the revised sedan saw its fuel economy improve by 6 percent compared to the previous model. However, government testing showed that the improvement was only 2 percent.

The 6 percent improvement also seemed incredibly optimistic given that the revised Sonata is actually heavier than the model it replaces.
Hyundai has since apologized for the irregularity, stating that it is “very sorry for causing confusion.”

Sources: Reuters, Autoblog Green, Detroit News

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

"Error" my ass.
By lawrance on 3/18/2014 12:41:09 PM , Rating: 3
It's not an "error" when it's intentional.

RE: "Error" my ass.
By NimbleYork on 3/18/2014 3:13:40 PM , Rating: 1
Except there really was no error. Hyundai never even should have apologized the first time because actual owners of Hyundais never had issues with fuel economy. They were all puzzled because they weren’t able to reproduce these "low-mileage claims". Even all my acquaintances who own Hyundais said they get advertised or even better fuel economy.

It was a third party organization acting on their own that used only a few anomalous cases to spearhead a smear-campaign.

And this current case is Hyundai, on their own before any car has been sold, correcting an error……an error that’s less than 1kpg.

The real intentional errors are like Ford mis-stating mileage numbers by more than 5-7mpg.

RE: "Error" my ass.
By niva on 3/18/2014 4:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
You still can't prove if it was intentional or not. The problem I have with EPA numbers is that they are not standard. These tests absolutely should be standardized IMO. They should create standard test courses that all cars must go through in as close to similar conditions as possible.

A closed cirucit loop can be used to amazing effects to calculate cruising MPG @ 75 mph for 1 hour and get very good numbers. A road course would be great for simulating race conditions for performance cars.

Anyways, good for the customers that they're happy. Hyundai is one of the most improved companies in the world over the last decade. I love the design of their new cars.

RE: "Error" my ass.
By docinct on 3/18/2014 5:41:29 PM , Rating: 2
" They should create standard test courses that all cars must go through in as close to similar conditions as possible."

I believe that is called a Consumer Reports road test.

RE: "Error" my ass.
By Alexvrb on 3/19/2014 12:34:36 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the EPA tests ARE standardized, and they were revised to be stricter and more real-world in 2008. Hence why a lot of models "lost" MPGs in 2008 - although you can use to compare pre-2008 models using the new estimates (they also show old sticker estimates). These revised tests generally provide pretty decent estimates of real-world results the average driver might see, especially compared to other testing methods deployed in other places.

The problem is that the EPA doesn't actually perform all of the testing themselves. They test a portion of models (engine/trans combinations) to make sure their results aren't way out of line. But the majority of the testing and reporting is done by the manufacturers themselves - in this case, Hyundai. The problem is when they don't follow the EPA testing procedures properly, or otherwise fudge the numbers.

So it's not the testing methods, it's the testers. I think the EPA should stop chasing the CO2 bogeyman and test all possible model/engine/trans combinations sold in the US. This should be in addition to manufacturers testing using the same methodology, to make sure the manufacturers aren't way off.

RE: "Error" my ass.
By Alexvrb on 3/19/2014 12:25:39 AM , Rating: 2
No error? That's a good one! You don't seem to actually know what happened with the Hyundai and Kia models affected in the US. Your anecdotal evidence doesn't factor in what models and what years were affected, either. I'm not defending Ford, Ford really screwed up bad (intentionally) with the C-Max numbers, by using an EPA loophole that let them use a Fusion Hybrid test with the same drivetrain. The revised C-Max numbers dropped it from 47 to 43 combined and 40 Highway. 4-7 MPG is drastic, although it is not "more than 5-7 mpg" as you state. Regardless, that's pretty bad, but it is a single model.

Meanwhile, Hyundai/Kia intentionally overstated MPG across a number of models! Some of them only saw their MPG ratings adjusted slightly (1-2 MPG). Others were off by 3-4 MPG highway, and still others... well a number of Kia Soul models saw their highway mileage plummet by 5-6 MPG highway. They fudged numbers by just a little bit across the board, and they got too greedy with certain models. Then they marketed the heck out of them, flaunting their MPG numbers over Honda and Toyota on advertisements for a couple of years before they had to cut their numbers.

But you know what? Don't listen to me. See what Hyundai has to say about it:

That's a lot of models affected.

RE: "Error" my ass.
By lawrance on 3/21/2014 2:11:27 PM , Rating: 1
Between Samsung and Hyundai, some of you are some South Korean loving mother fuckers!

RE: "Error" my ass.
By danwat12345 on 3/25/2014 10:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
It is an error if it is a problem with the coast down test. That was the problem with the first MPG fiasco.

RE: "Error" my ass.
By Sazabi19 on 3/19/2014 10:18:44 AM , Rating: 2
At the very least it seems Kia has turned it around, or at least the Cadenza numbers seem about right. Avg is 22, I am getting just above 21 right now, mind you that is with a new engine not fully lubed up yet and me not being used to driving a transmission with gears again (Rogue was a CVT). I am not trying to adjust my driving habits to get above the EPA numbers as I have always been able to do. The hwy mileage is better than what they stated.

Not fines, jail time
By tayb on 3/18/2014 11:17:12 AM , Rating: 2
I think it is time to strip the "limited" portion away of a Limited Liability Corporation. If you defraud customers you are guilty of fraud. Take the CEO and throw him or her in a jail cell.

Fines mean nothing. They are passed back to the consumers and used to reduce taxes as a business expense. Throw these people in jail.

If the head of a company is to be thrown in jail for fraud he or she might actually think twice about committing fraud. And lying about fuel economy numbers is fraud.

RE: Not fines, jail time
By FITCamaro on 3/18/2014 12:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
Except you don't know if the CEO was involved in the decision.

RE: Not fines, jail time
By MozeeToby on 3/18/2014 3:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, how about this then. Calculate the cost difference between the expected and actual mileage over the expected life of the car. Add 50% for punitive damages and another 10% to cover the cost of the bureaucracy, give the rest to everyone who bought the vehicle under the misleading numbers.

A few hundred million dollar fines should be enough to squash this behavior.

RE: Not fines, jail time
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/2014 4:25:23 PM , Rating: 2
Throw someone in jail, that you have NO proof was even involved, over a 4% discrepancy in fuel economy?

No, we have enough people in jail already. Your punishment for such a small thing is cruel and unusual.

RE: Not fines, jail time
By TSS on 3/18/2014 8:07:16 PM , Rating: 2
Correction: There's enough middleclass/poor people in jail already.

I'm sure everybody here could agree we can find a few more jail cells for white collar criminals.

The OP does have a point. Maybe the CEO doesn't need to go to jail but somebody should. Look through the company files like emails and i'm sure somebody will turn up to take the fall. The more serious the offence the higher up the person thrown in jail.

Maybe a 4% disrepancy is too much to throw the CEO in jail for but atleast the head of marketing could do 100-200 hours of community service or something like that. Considering it was the community that was defrauded in the first place i'd say it'd fit the crime.

Otherwise it just sends the signal that consumer fraud is A OK. Though to be honest, considering what banks where paid to get away with in the last few years, that point might've been crossed long ago.....

No surprise
By akashi3 on 3/18/2014 6:09:57 PM , Rating: 2
Cheating has been their way of doing things, not everyone, but it seems to have embedded in their culture, from cheating in SAT score, Samsung phone being the worst offenders in cheating in mobile benchmarks, pulling shenanigans and general lack of sportsmanship in international competitions like that athlete bit a Japanese opponent in a judo match, now to cheating in fuel consumption, twice.

RE: No surprise
By sevenpoint on 3/19/2014 3:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
Hi Japanese astroturfer.

I see you've provided selective, hypocritical, and generally hand wavy "evidence" for your claims.

Ford was also caught inflating numbers in a more egregious way. However, no Hyundai owner in significant numbers has been able to reproduce the low mileage figures. The current case is even less of an issue, because it's Hyundai themselves correcting errors before a single car is sold. The error was less than 2%, a rounding error. So you're calling honesty cheating now? Hyundai obviously did nothing wrong in both of these cases.

Sony and HTC were also caught "inflating" benchmarks, which has been going on in the PC industry for decades.

It's also well known Japan's academic system is rife with cheating. Just a few years ago, a student posted answers to a national university entrance exam which triggered a nation wide investigation, a magnitude on par as the SAT incident.

If any shenanigans are going on, I'd be more willing to bet on the unethical Japanese pulling one, but doing it in a way that no one can see.

Moreover, nothing you say will ever be tantamount to the evils and atrocities that the Japanese committed in WWII, which is a direct result of an aggressive and immoral character ingrained into Japanese culture.

RE: No surprise
By Alexvrb on 3/19/2014 9:37:28 PM , Rating: 2
Fortunately, modern day Japan is nothing like WWII Japan.

But back to the subject at hand: Read my post above. Ford abused an EPA loophole that allowed them to post bad numbers for ONE model. They were wrong to do so, but you must have been asleep the last time Hyundai got caught fudging MPG numbers across a large number of models. The Kia Soul in particular was off by as much as 6 MPG highway in some configurations.
However, no Hyundai owner in significant numbers has been able to reproduce the low mileage figures.
Nice try. See the links directly from Hyundai. I'll repost them:

Lots of cars were affected across three years and quite a few models. Some were only off a small amount, some quite a bit. They claim it's due to a "procedural error". But regardless of the cause (an error, or simple deception) their sales (and those of their competitors) were directly affected by these false claims.

Not really what is going on
By KeithP on 3/18/2014 1:12:16 PM , Rating: 2
So an executive stated he thought the mileage of a redesigned model would improve by 6% before it is officially tested. The car gets tested and the increase is only 2%. And that is "fudging the numbers"??

Keep in mind, not a single car has been sold to consumers. The new car hasn't been released yet.

I'd like to think of this as typical DT link bait but it seems worse than that in this case. I blame myself. I know what I am getting into by reading DT, I shouldn't really expect anything more.

RE: Not really what is going on
By Solandri on 3/18/2014 3:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
The car companies run the EPA tests and submit the mileage to the EPA. The EPA accepts most of these without question, but randomly runs their own tests on a few cars. This appears to be where Hyundai got caught.

However, the difference between 2% and 6% improvement is only about 1 MPG. Roundoff error probably played a large part, since EPA mileage figures are rounded to an integer.

They need to investigate FORD!
By Philippine Mango on 3/18/2014 1:47:08 PM , Rating: 1
They need to investigate Ford, Especially for the Fusion Hybrid which gets far worse fuel economy than it's suppose to!

By Brandon Hill on 3/18/2014 2:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
I was surprised that C-MAX got skewered while the Fusion Hybrid escaped unharmed. Numbers over at the EPA site and Fuelly suggest that the Fusion Hybrid falls way short:

By Arsynic on 3/18/2014 11:04:15 AM , Rating: 2

Santa Fe - Canada
By chmilz on 3/18/2014 2:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
In the US, owners of Santa Fe's with the turbo got a nice little gas card, to the tune of $3000 I think, for fudged numbers in a class action loss.

Here in Canada, we still haven't got a damn thing yet. I have a lot of remorse for not looking at the real fuel economy of my Santa Fe before I bought it. It's absolutely brutal on fuel and doesn't come even close to the rated mileage no matter how I drive it. Great car, terrible mileage.

By CharonPDX on 3/18/2014 5:16:48 PM , Rating: 2
I had a 1999 Hyundai that was subject of a class action lawsuit over inflated horsepower claims. I think I got a check for ~$150, IIRC.

“very sorry for causing confusion.”
By pjs on 3/18/2014 11:52:54 PM , Rating: 2
Hyundai has since apologized for the irregularity, stating that it is “very sorry for causing confusion.”

I wasn't confused. I understand what 6% means, as well as other words and numbers.

Well, they should be very sorry for being dishonest.

At least they could give an honest apology. Didn't happen.

Grammar? Editing?
By eagle470 on 3/18/14, Rating: -1
RE: Grammar? Editing?
By Flunk on 3/18/2014 11:05:27 AM , Rating: 2
This is a common issue on this site.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki