Print 43 comment(s) - last by DanNeely.. on Nov 7 at 9:38 AM

Hyundai Elantra

Revised Numbers from Hyundai  (Source: Hyundai)
Millions to be paid out to owners over misleading claims

Back in December of 2011, Consumer Watchdog called on the EPA to investigate Hyundai over its fuel economy claims. According to Consumer Watchdog, Hyundai claimed that its Elantra was good for 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on highway. The problem the organization had with the claims is that it received a higher than usual number of complaints that real-world mileage was in the mid-20 mpg range.

The EPA did investigate Hyundai for misleading mileage claims as well as Kia, and changes in fuel economy estimates are coming as a result of the investigation. Both Kia and Hyundai will be lowering the fuel economy estimates on the majority of their 2012 to 2013 models after EPA testing discovered discrepancies between its data and the company's data.

Hyundai and Kia admitted to overstating the estimated fuel economy on window stickers of about 900,000 vehicles sold since late 2010. The two automakers will reportedly spend millions of dollars to compensate owners for faulty claims of economy.

Hyundai will also have to retract its widely used claim that it leads the industry with four vehicle models able to get 40 mpg on the highway. That statement will be retracted because estimated highway economy on the 2013 Accent, Veloster, and Elantra are being reduced to below 40 mpg.
Some of the biggest losers include the Hyundai Accent and the all-new, redesigned 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. The Accent saw its 30/40/33 (city/highway/combined) rating drop to 28/37/31. The Santa Fe Sport (2WD) saw a huge drop in its highway rating, going from 21/31/25 (city/highway/combined) to 20/27/23.
Many of the mileage adjustments take Hyundai models from being class leaders to either middle-of-the-pack or lower.

On the Kia side of things, the Soul took the biggest hit as it saw its highway numbers drop by 6 mpg (35 mpg highway to 29 mpg highway).
Overstating fuel efficiency is a significant blunder by the two car companies because gas prices are up, and many people are shopping based on fuel economy claims by the manufacturer. The EPA notes that window sticker values have previously been reduced on only two vehicles sense 2000, so that makes Hyundai’s folly even more egregious.

"Given the importance of fuel efficiency to all of us, we're extremely sorry about these errors," said Hyundai Motor America President and CEO John Krafcik. "We're going to make this right."

Krafcik blamed the inaccurate fuel efficiency claims on "procedural errors" in the fuel-economy testing methodology the company used. Hyundai-Kia's combined fleetwide fuel economy average declined from 27 MPG to 26 mpg for the 2012 model year working out to about a 3% reduction.

Krafcik added, "We've identified the source of the discrepancies between our prior testing method and the EPA's recommended approach."

Sources: Detroit News, Hyundai, Kia

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This is dumb
By chµck on 11/2/2012 9:17:45 AM , Rating: 1
This is dumb because there's so much pressure for the car companies to magically improve mileage and because the majority of drivers don't realize that they don't need to go from 0-60 as fast as the car will do it.

RE: This is dumb
By Dr of crap on 11/2/2012 9:21:22 AM , Rating: 2
WHAT ????
Are you saying all those passing me on the 60 mph road I drive on and they're doing 70mph AREN'T getting good MPGs, even in their SUVs ??????

/that was a joke in case you were wondering/

RE: This is dumb
By Spuke on 11/2/2012 9:43:28 AM , Rating: 2
"Given the importance of fuel efficiency to all of us, we're extremely sorry about these errors," said Hyundai Motor America President and CEO John Krafcik. "We're going to make this right."
Which means they'll increase the cost of their cars so that they CAN meet those fuel economy standards. I wonder how many others will be "caught" overstating their numbers?

RE: This is dumb
By Targon on 11/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: This is dumb
By Solandri on 11/2/2012 12:29:39 PM , Rating: 5
but it is an issue that the EPA testing does not properly test for real world use.

Once again, the EPA mileage estimates are not predictions of the real world fuel mileage that you will get while driving the vehicle. There's too much driver-to-driver variance to even begin to accurately estimate "real world" mileage.

The purpose of the EPA mileage figures is to let the car buyer compare the fuel economy of different cars, knowing the numbers are derived from a consistent test run on all cars. If you're looking at a 30 MPG vehicle and a 33 MPG vehicle, you probably won't get exactly 30 and 33 MPG when you drive them. But it's a pretty good bet that when you drive the second vehicle, you'll get 10% higher MPG than when you drive the first vehicle.

RE: This is dumb
By Blight AC on 11/2/2012 1:47:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yep... in theory. However, when a car I got in 2005, rated at 22 MPG Highway consistently got 23-24 MPG with my driving, and a car I got in 2011, after the newer, "stricter and more realistic" standards were in place was rated at 33 MPG highway and I consistently get 29-31 MPG, it would seem to me that the EPA sticker is about as useless as paying extra for "undercoat sealing" at the dealer. My reasonable conclusion, was that I'd be easily getting above the highway driving MPG on my new 2012 model, since similar driving in a different vehicle netted me above highway MPG consistently.

Either way, I'm glad to see that an auto manufacturer has been taken to task for their unreasonable claims. Hopefully other auto manufacturers will see this as a call to reel in their overly generous claims.

RE: This is dumb
By darkhawk1980 on 11/5/2012 6:59:41 AM , Rating: 2
It might be to compare, but if you can't get the same numbers in reasonable driving conditions (ie mostly highway driving with a light foot), then what's the point in making the numbers? Every car that I have owned since I was 16, I have been able to achieve the EPA numbers if I drive it with a light foot. Even my most recent 2008 VW R32 gets the EPA estimated numbers if I'm not stomping on the gas (which is quite difficult not to....). If you can't reach that EPA estimated number, then there's either something wrong with the car, or the number is wrong. And it wouldn't surprise me if the numbers have been inflated by more than a few manufacturers out there. It's just Hyundai and Kia got caught.

RE: This is dumb
By DanNeely on 11/7/2012 9:38:23 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The EPA test methods are periodically tweaked to generate results that closer match real world driving conditions. It's the CAFE numbers, which consumers never normally see, that are using an unchanged 30+ year old methodology that gives numbers ~30% higher than the EPA tests. Since the purpose of that test is only to compare relative year/year gains against regulatory targets it needs to be kept constant even though it was almost immediately proven to be unrealistic.

RE: This is dumb
By FITCamaro on 11/2/2012 11:40:02 AM , Rating: 3
Given the same vehicle they might not get AS good a mileage as you.

But at 75 mph I get 40-43 mpg. Sure I can get 55-60 mpg at 62 mph. But I'm not driving that on a 70 mph highway.

RE: This is dumb
By sprockkets on 11/2/2012 12:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
Damn, what do you drive? Lately I've gotten 31MPG out of the Mazda3 regardless of what speed I drive or accessories in use.

RE: This is dumb
By Jeffk464 on 11/2/2012 1:43:07 PM , Rating: 2
Its not all about speed, its about driving style. If your one of those guys who romps on the gas to the next cars bumper steps on the brake, then zips into the next lane and repeats over and over again, you are wiping out your mileage. Plus you will eventually cost yourself thousands of dollars in eventual accidents. Look ahead drive smoothly and your mileage goes up big time, you also can't beat cruise control. I've managed to get 25mpg in my V6 tacoma that is rated 18-22mpg.

RE: This is dumb
By ummduh on 11/2/2012 8:04:37 PM , Rating: 1

Maybe if more people enjoyed driving there would be less a-holes on the road.

Getting from point A to point B isn't the point at all. Enjoy the drive and have fun, mileage be damned!

RE: This is dumb
By Jeffk464 on 11/2/2012 9:23:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, because the morning heavy traffic commute to work is just so much fun.

RE: This is dumb
By NellyFromMA on 11/2/2012 11:25:50 AM , Rating: 5
Actually, this is dumb because Kia and Hyundai lied. Don't blame the company. I'd understand if NO companies could acheive similar ratings but they do, so blaming regulations is hardly a good arguement here. They cut corners, lied, and lost. Their competitors did not. End of story.

RE: This is dumb
By NellyFromMA on 11/2/2012 11:26:12 AM , Rating: 2
Lol... rather, don't blame regulations.

RE: This is dumb
By othercents on 11/2/2012 11:41:42 AM , Rating: 2
0-60 speed has nothing to do with the standardized test. The tests are created based on the same person driving the vehicle every time in the same conditions. This should give us clear results that would help buyers conclude that if they purchase vehicle A they will get X amount more or less fuel mileage than vehicle B, if they drive both vehicles the same. When a car company misstates their results the person purchasing the vehicle might make a decision to buy a vehicle that doesn't meet their needs.

I do find that the way the test are built, they are giving the best case scenario for two driving conditions instead of what would be considered normal driving behavior. It would be best if they gave best case and worse case for each driving condition. That would give the most information to the buyer prior to purchasing the vehicle.

RE: This is dumb
By Jeffk464 on 11/2/2012 1:46:02 PM , Rating: 4
Overstating fuel efficiency is a significant blunder by the two car companies because gas prices are up, and many people are shopping based on fuel economy claims by the manufacturer.

Uhm this statement makes it seem not so much as a blunder but of being intentionally crooked.

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