Consumers who purchased or leased certain 2011, 2012 and 2013 model year cars manufactured by Hyundai or Kia.
Hyundai and Kia admitted that they overstated the estimated fuel economy of these vehicles in an alleged attempt to persuade consumers into buying the vehicles.
Hyundai Motor America, Kia Motors Corp.
The car makers claim that procedural errors led to inaccurate fuel ratings for approximately 35% of the 2011 to 2013 sold through October 2012.
Consumers who purchased or leased certain 2011, 2012 or 2013 Hyundai or Kia cars may have legal recourse. It has been alleged that the car makers overstated the fuel economy of these vehicles in an attempt to persuade consumers into buying the cars. Currently, three putative class action lawsuits have been filed against the Korean automakers over inaccurate fuel efficiency claims, including one case which seeks $775 million in damages.
Which Models are Affected?
Hyundai and Kia have acknowledged that the following vehicles have inaccurate fuel economy rating labels:
2011, 2012 Elantra
2013 Elantra Coupe
2013 Elantra GT
2011, 2012 Sonata HEV
2012, 2013 Accent
2012, 2013 Azera
2012, 2013 Genesis
2012, 2013 Tucson 2WD and 4WD
2012, 2013 Veloster
2013 Santa Fe Sport 2WD and 4WD
2011, 2012 Optima HEV
2012, 2013 Rio
2012, 2013 Sorento
2012, 2013 Soul
2012, 2013 Soul ECO
2012, 2013 Sportage
Cars Receive New Mileage Adjustments
According to reports, the mileage on most of these vehicles will be reduced by one to two miles per gallon. The Kia soul will receive the largest adjustment of 6 mpg less than its advertised claims. The inaccurate fuel ratings were announced by the EPA, which monitors fuel economy tests by car manufacturers.
The EPA conducted an auto of the fuel economy claims after consumers complained about the mileage of certain Hyundai models. As the EPA began its investigation, it noted “observed discrepancies” between its findings and what the automaker advertised for its 2012 Hyundai Elantra. EPA’s audits of fuel efficiency claims rarely finds false or misleading statements, according to reports, and has only noted discrepancies twice since 2000. The EPA said that these recent findings represented “the first time where a large number of vehicles from the same manufacturer deviated so significantly."
Class Action Lawsuits Against Kia, Hyundai
In Nov. 2012, a putative class action lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Ohio by one consumer who purchased a 2012 Kia Rio and a couple who purchased a 2013 Hyundai Elantra. The suit seeks unspecified damages on behalf of consumers who bought or leased any of the eight Hyundai or five Kia vehicles listed in the complaint. The suit also requests that the automakers allow consumers the chance to back out of their lease or purchase agreements due to the misleading mileage labels. It has also been reported that a suit seeking class action stated has also been filed in California by 23 plaintiffs who are seeking $775 in damages. Additionally, in July, a consumer group filed a suit in California over fuel efficiency claims; this suit requests that Hyundai be banned from advertising mile-per-gallon numbers without government-mandated disclosures for its 2012 Elantras.