Print 40 comment(s) - last by sigmatau.. on Dec 3 at 9:09 PM

Rockefeller wants answers on how the automakers plan to reach their customers by December 14, 2012

Hyundai Motors Co. and Kia Motors are both in hot water over exaggerated estimated gas mileage claims, and the senate wants answers. 

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee who oversees auto issues, wants Hyundai and Kia to explain how it will reach and compensate its 900,000 customers after inflating its MPG claims. 

So far, Hyundai and Kia have said they would reimburse customers and add a 15 percent premium by sending out debit cards that can be reloaded in the future. The automakers could spend over $100 million compensating for their exaggerations. 

"While I believe this is a positive step, I am concerned that many affected customers may not learn about the program or may find it burdensome to participate in the program," said Rockefeller. 

Rockefeller wants answers on how the automakers plan to reach these customers by December 14, 2012.

The Kia Soul got hit hard with the revised EPA ratings

Back in December 2011, Consumer Watchdog called on the EPA to investigate Hyundai over its fuel economy claims. Hyundai claimed that its Elantra achieved 29 MPG in the city and 40 MPG on highway. However, the organization received a higher-than-usual number of complaints that real-world mileage was in the mid-20 mpg range.

From there, the EPA investigated Hyundai for misleading mileage claims and found that the fuel economy estimates of most of its 2012-2013 models were inflated. The same goes for Kia. Both Kia and Hyundai will be lowering the fuel economy estimates on the majority of their 2012 to 2013 models after EPA testing discovered a gap between its data and what both of the companies are claiming.

Hyundai and Kia admitted to overstating the estimated fuel economy on window stickers of about 900,000 vehicles sold since late 2010. Reports show that Hyundai alone could spend $100 million trying to fix the fiasco. 

Some of the MPG window stickers that will require a change include the Hyundai Accent and the Kia Soul ECO. The Accent had its 30/40/33 (city/highway/combined) rating drop to 28/37/31. The Kia Soul ECO saw the biggest drop of any affected model going from 27/35/30 to 24/29/26.

Source: The Detroit News

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RE: Is this a big deal?
By sigmatau on 12/1/2012 8:14:18 AM , Rating: 2

I took Hyundai and Kia off my list for at least another 10 years. The only reason I ever considered them is because of low price and great economy. They also had a good warranty but bad reliability so that is kinda a wash.

I knew they were lying about their SUV's economy. I have a 2003 Nissan SUV and Hyundai/Kia's SUVs were killing mine in economy. I always thought to myself how odd that they improved on economy so much in such a little amount of time.

Why would anyone want a Hyundai/Kia now with soso economy, mostly ugly styling, bad reliability, and terrible driving dynamics? Price? Good luck with that!

RE: Is this a big deal?
By Mint on 12/1/2012 12:26:17 PM , Rating: 5
I'll rely on actual reliability DATA rather than the minefield of crap that is hearsay from people like you. Kia/Hyundai have improved leaps and bounds over their reputation rooted in problems 10-20 years ago.

Are they as good as Toyota/Honda? No. However, they have improved a lot, and are above all domestic and German brands overall, according to Consumer Reports. And to rag on their styling is nonsense when so many of their recent cars are getting accolades from everyone. Just stick to the topic of fuel economy.

Their reputation will pay for this fuel economy blunder, though, and deservedly so. If it was intentional, then everyone who knew should be fired. You'd have to be incredibly naive to think that in the information age such a lie could go unnoticed. It'll take years to repair the damage to their reputation.

RE: Is this a big deal?
By nocturne on 12/2/2012 10:21:27 PM , Rating: 1
Consumer Reports takes a brand new item, tests it, and gives a pretty wishy-washy review no matter if the product is great or horrible. The surveys of actual owners are rather limited, and take no look at all of long term reliability. Taking a brand new car and fiddling around with it a few days is certainly not what I call a comprehensive review.. For that, you only have to look at a long history of failure. Exactly why you should stay away from anything made in Korea.

One thing makes it abundantly clear how bad Kia and Hyundai are.. in what world does it make sense to take air/fuel in through the back of the block, and spit exhaust out the front..? Bad design concepts all around.

RE: Is this a big deal?
By Nutzo on 12/3/2012 11:50:15 AM , Rating: 4
You are completely wrong about Consumer Reports when it comes to reliability.
Their reliability reports are based on a very comprehensive survey they send out to subscribers, and consists of the repair records of thousands each of cars.

As for "fiddling around with it a few days", you are wrong again. They not only have basic reviews of new cars, but also run long term tests on many of these cars.

RE: Is this a big deal?
By sigmatau on 12/3/2012 9:09:07 PM , Rating: 2
What data? The kind you made up? You can take that and shove it up your rear.

Improving? From super horrible to soso? Really? LOL! Don't be so butt hurt because you have a terrible vehicle.

And did you really compare a Korean maker to a German? Are you insane? Those are mostly luxury brands minus VW. These brands typicaly have technology you will see in Korean cars in 5-10 years. Want to rethink that do you?

My gut was right to stay away from them.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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