U.S. Fines Kia, Hyundai Record $300 Million for Overstating Fuel Economy

By Paul Riegler on 3 November 2014
  • Share

DSC_0585The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice jointly announced that two Korean automakers would pay record penalties to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act in which they inaccurately labeled the fuel economy of their vehicles.

Hyundai and Kia sold 1.2 million vehicles that omitted 4.75 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in excess of what had been certified to the EPA.

The agencies said that the two manufacturers would pay a $100 million civil penalty, the largest settlement in Clean Air Act history, and spend $50 million on measures to prevent any future violations.  The carmakers will also forfeit 4.75 million greenhouse gas emissions credits that had been previously claimed, reportedly valued at over $200 million.

The complaint, filed today jointly by the United States and the California Air Resources Board in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleged that Hyundai and Kia sold approximately 1.2 million vehicles in 2012 and 2013 whose design specifications did not conform to those certified to the EPA.  The vehicles listed in the complaint are the Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Veloster, and Santa Fe vehicles and the Kia Rio and Soul vehicles.

The automakers then overstated the fuel economy by one to six miles per gallon, depending on the vehicle.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)