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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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How is this different from technology products?
By nerdye on 12/1/2012 3:20:22 PM , Rating: 3
So my usb 3.0 flash drive advertises 30mb sec write speed, in real life I only get 24mb sec. My sata 6gbs ssd advertises 555mb sec read speed, I only get around 500mb sec. Why is this ok and with cars that's not ok?

By chµck on 12/2/2012 1:13:14 PM , Rating: 2
There's clearly something wrong with the user.

By Mint on 12/2/2012 3:32:04 PM , Rating: 4
Because what Kia did was falsify results for a standardized test. Because fuel for cars is such a significant regular expense, the gov't regulates how it is to be tested and advertised. Standardized testing is never perfect but at least it gives you an apples to apples comparison.

Marketing on a computer product is nothing of the sort.

By Rukkian on 12/3/2012 10:05:55 AM , Rating: 2
Because there is no standardized testing in place, and very rarely does anybody actually buy one drive instead of another due to the numbers published. Add to that the fact that the drive youa re talking about is less than $200 compared to a $20k vehicle that people will need to keep for years and keep spending extra money on, and you can see why your statement is in no comparison to what is being talked about here.

The speed difference does not cost you any extra money per say (maybe a miniscule amount of time).

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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