Print 15 comment(s) - last by Florinator.. on Feb 28 at 9:30 PM

Drivers also have the option of accepting the debit card payments instead

After admitting that it overstated fuel economy ratings for some of its models last year, Hyundai has now agreed to settle its U.S. lawsuits.

A filing, which was revealed today, showed that Hyundai agreed to general terms of a settlement earlier this month. No financial terms have been disclosed, so it is unclear what Hyundai will have to pay under the settlement.

The proposed settlement gives owners of Hyundai models with misstated fuel economy ratings the choice to either continue accepting money through the debit card plan (which offers periodic payments to a credit card) or receive a lump sum settlement payout.

Payout amounts will depend on the difference in fuel economy from the actual figure to the overstated figure. Those with previously rated 40 MPG models -- like the Accent, Elantra, Veloster and Sonata Hybrid -- are expected to get a larger payout than those with under 40 MPG.

Hyundai said it had set aside about $225 million for its owner compensation plans.

Kia was also busted for overstating fuel economy ratings for some of its models, but the automaker was not a part of Hyundai's settlement. However, Kia was invited to join the settlement and is currently reviewing the terms.

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.

The EPA investigated Hyundai for misleading mileage claims and found that the fuel economy estimates of most of its 2012-2013 models were overstated. It made the same conclusion for Kia, and both automakers said they would lower the fuel economy estimates on the majority of their 2012 to 2013 models.

Hyundai and Kia admitted to overstating the estimated fuel economy on window stickers of about 900,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. since late 2010. Some of the MPG window stickers that will required 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.

Kia said it has set aside about $187 million for its owner compensation plans.

Source: Automotive News

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RE: Low payout for big profit
By Zeock9 on 2/27/2013 8:37:01 PM , Rating: 2
An average of 2 combined mpg difference, assuming you drive 10,000 miles a year at $3.50 a gallon, will net you about $60 to $70 loss per year - a payout of $460 per car covers about 5~8 years worth of gas price difference.

So I wouldn't necessarily call it a 'low payout', considering an average car ownership length in the US is only about 57 months.

RE: Low payout for big profit
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2013 8:43:58 PM , Rating: 3
When you put it like that, the whole thing does seem absurd. If the owners wanted to, they could squeeze a measly 2 mpg more out of that car.

RE: Low payout for big profit
By chekk4 on 2/27/2013 10:35:09 PM , Rating: 3
However, that's not any 2 mpg difference over 10,000 miles that equals $60 to $70 more per year. The 2 mpg difference costing $60-70 you mention is likely for the Accent: from 33 mpg to 31 mpg. Then, over 10,000 miles, the extra cost is $69.
If the 2 mpg difference was instead from 30 to 28 mpg over 10,000 miles, then the extra cost would be $84.
The difference for the Kia Soul, from 30 to 26 mpg over 10,000 miles is $180 which is considerably less trivial.

RE: Low payout for big profit
By Florinator on 2/28/2013 9:30:04 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if the payments are the same for everybody. Maybe they offer higher refunds for those affected more. But on average, it looks like the math checks out. I'm pretty sure Hyundai must have some accountants that are good at math...

RE: Low payout for big profit
By daboom06 on 2/28/2013 12:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
it's not just the gas price difference. some people probably bought the car instead of some other brand because of its posted mpg. the compensation should be for how much a similar car that had that true mpg would have cost.

you pay more for a more efficient car because it takes more money/smarts to build/design it.

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