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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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By Philippine Mango on 11/2/2012 12:24:02 PM , Rating: 3
The fact that the EPA allows manufacturers to test their own vehicles themselves without any supervision from the EPA only allows for the manufacturers to game the system. I knew Hyundai did some chicanery with its numbers and so has a few other automakers. Did you guys know that the EPA only tests a handful of vehicles themselves and lets the automakers test the vehicles and then send the reports to the EPA instead!?




By relztes on 11/2/2012 1:17:54 PM , Rating: 2
That'd probably require more funding, and there aren't too many congressmen who'll vote to increase the EPA's budget right now. A little random testing with stiff penalties for cheating might be good enough. Maybe they already do this?

I do hope the penalties are high enough to make this kind of cheating unprofitable. Maybe a short prison sentence for the responsible executives would do the trick. I'm not usually one to scream "lock them up for life" every time someone breaks the law, but I wouldn't mind a little more personal responsibility in corporations since we can't send the company to prison. Break the law as an individual, and you go to prison. Break the law as part of a corporation, and the company pays a small fine and promises not to do it again.


RE: EPA should be testing all of these vehicles
By dubldwn on 11/2/2012 1:27:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Did you guys know that the EPA only tests a handful of vehicles themselves and lets the automakers test the vehicles and then send the reports to the EPA instead!?

No, I did not know that and I'm shocked. Is it that big of a deal to test all the cars? This is the first I've heard of this.


By Jeffk464 on 11/2/2012 1:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
Thats what I was thinking, how many new cars are there. Road and Track manages to test them all out.


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 11/2/2012 2:23:44 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, it's true. The EPA tests something like 15% of new vehicles on the market. It's up to the manufacturers to test and report the fuel economy numbers based on the EPA's guidelines.

But if you do get caught fudging the numbers, then this happens.


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