"I sincerely apologize to all affected Hyundai and Kia customers, and I regret these errors occurred."
ALS - CleanMPG
- Nov 2, 2012
2013 Hyundai Elantra GT with the 6-speed manual will now be rated at 26/37/30 city/highway/combined mpgUS from 27/39/31 city/highway/combined mpgUS previously.
In a prepared release, both Hyundai and Kia are initiating a voluntary program to lower fuel economy ratings on 35 percent of their 2011 and 2013 model year offerings sold through October 31, 2012 by an average of 3 percent. A sampling by the EPA found both manufacturers were posting higher fuel economy estimates on some new vehicle window stickers then should have been and the practice has been ongoing since late 2010. Both companies are in the process of reimbursing current owners of some 900,000 vehicles millions of dollars.
Procedural errors at the automakers’ joint testing operations in Korea led to incorrect fuel economy ratings for select vehicle lines. As part of Hyundai/Kia’s corrective actions, the fuel economy ratings for vehicles currently in showrooms are being voluntarily relabeled. With these changes, the 2012 Hyundai/Kia fleet fuel economy level is reduced by an average of 3 percent – from 27 to 26 MPG.
Dr. W. C. Yang, CTO of Hyundai/Kia R&D:
“I sincerely apologize to all affected Hyundai and Kia customers, and I regret these errors occurred,” said “Following up on the EPA’s audit results, we have taken immediate action to make the necessary rating changes and process corrections.”
Both companies are putting in place a comprehensive reimbursement program for affected current and former vehicle owners to cover the additional fuel costs associated with the fuel economy rating change. Customers will receive a personalized debit card that will reimburse them for their difference in the EPA combined fuel economy rating, based on the fuel price in their area and their own actual miles driven. In addition, as an acknowledgement of the inconvenience this may cause, we will add an extra 15 percent to the reimbursement amount. Current owners will be able to refresh their debit card for as long as they own the vehicle. Prior owners of affected vehicles who have already sold their cars will also be reimbursed using the same formula. For more information about reimbursement and a complete list of eligible vehicles, customers can visit www.HyundaiMPGinfo.com
The fuel economy rating discrepancies are said to have resulted from procedural errors during a process called “coastdown” testing at the companies’ joint testing operations in Korea. Coastdown testing simulates aerodynamic drag, tire rolling resistance and drivetrain frictional losses and provides the technical data used to program the test dynamometers that generate EPA fuel economy ratings. Affected vehicles and their before-and-after EPA estimates shown below.
Since 2000, the EPA said mpg window sticker values have been reduced on just two vehicles, the 2001 Dodge Ram pickup, which fell by 1 mpg, and the 2012 BMW 328i, which fell by 2 mpg highway/1 city.
John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America:
“Given the importance of fuel efficiency to all of us, we’re extremely sorry about these errors. When we say to Hyundai owners, ‘We’ve got your back,’ that’s an assurance we don’t take lightly. We’re going to make this right for everyone, and we’ll be more driven than ever to ensure our vehicles deliver outstanding fuel economy.”
Scott McKee, Kia Director of US Public Relations:
We deeply regret these errors and sincerely apologize to our valued customers. Building long-term, trust-based relationships is important to us and customers satisfaction is central to our business.
It is important to note that all Kia vehicles remain in full compliance with all federal fuel economy standards and this situation does not affect the safety or any other aspect of our vehicles.
An example of what the reinstatement reimbursement may look like:
Your car was rated at 32 mpg and after 100,000 miles at $3.50/gallon, the total fuel expenditure = $10,937.50
Your car is now rated at 31 mpg and after 100,000 miles at $3.50/gallon, the total fuel expenditure = $11,290.00
The difference or reimbursement is = $352 + 15% or $404 USD for that vehicle after 100,000 miles. Implementing the program will cost more than the reimbursements themselves more than likely.
All told, this is going to be a tough week for everyone within the Hyundai organization.
As for us, the 2013 Elantra GT with its 6-speed stick is still the most fuel efficient offering for slower speed city. For the superslab, only the Passat TDI, Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda Civic HF, Honda Civic with a stick and "possibly
" the Mazda3 can topple it at its maximums.
Expected future fallout
2013 Hyundai Elantra GT with the 6-speed stick. Predictable highway fuel economy and above the EPA at up to 68 mph.
We reported on the BMW 3-series with its 8-speed AT being reduced by 2 mpg highway/1 mpg city earlier this year and it along with the Hyundai/KIA restatements will probably not be the last. I suspect the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Dodge Dart, Ford C-MAX and Chevrolet Malibu ECO lineup could be caught up in the maelstrom given how they have performed in the real world compared to the EPA numbers displayed on their Monroney new car window stickers.
Hyundai Monroney Fuel Economy Restatement List *
* 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid included a 2.4L ICE.
Kia Monroney Fuel Economy Restatement List *
* 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid included a 2.4L ICE.