Hyundai, Kia Propose Settlement for Overstated Fuel Economy Figures

By Paul Riegler on 26 December 2013
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A 2013 Kia Rio

A 2013 Kia Rio

Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America said that they would pay up to $395 million to settle consumer lawsuits related to overstated fuel economy ratings for over 900,000 model year 2011, 2012, and 2013 vehicles.

In November 2012, the two companies admitted they overstated fuel economy for as many as 13 Hyundai and Kia models by at least one mile per gallon.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency discovered the error.  Impacted models include the Hyundai Azera, Accent, Genesis, Santa Fe, Sonata Hybrid, Tucson, and Veloster, as well as the Kia Optima Hybrid, Rio, Sorento, Soul, and Sportage.

The two companies, which are both based in Korea, have been paying owners approximately $88 per annum as compensation.  The figure is intended to cover the extra cost of fuel compared to what was promised to the buyer. The figure announced on Monday would be a lump sum payment, with an average of $353 going to a Hyundai owner and $667 to a Kia owner.  A dealership credit is also being offered.

The settlement requires court approval.  Hyundai, in a statement released by the automaker’s general counsel, is intended to make customers “fully whole” for the error.