Following a careful audit of test results, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found out Hyundai and Kia have overstated gas mileage on 1 million cars sold in America and Canada. The actual fuel economy of the cars involved in the fiasco are one-to-six miles per gallon lower than what the window stickers said.
What makes it worse for Hyundai and Kia is the fact that they achieved an all time record sales in the North American market thanks to these false gas mileage figures that were widely advertized by the car makers. So they might get into trouble for misleading advertisement as well.
We vaguely remember how Hyundai advertisements used to mock the competition for making specially-tuned economy models, saying that they achieve 40 mpg across the model lineup.
EPA discovered the false mileage claims when they received a dozen complaints from consumers saying they cannot under any circumstance get even close to the advertised figures. The 2012 Hyundai Elantra was particularly bad in living up to the expectations. So that resulted in a large audit which revealed some models will lose three or four miles per gallon, while some others like the Kia Soul, will lose six mpg.
“Consumers rely on the window sticker to help make informed choices about the cars they buy,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator of the EPA’s air-quality office. “EPA’s investigation will help protect consumers and ensure a level playing field among automakers.”
This puts the South Korean car makers in quite a pickle. The debacle can result in sanctions from the U.S. government and millions of dollars in reimbursements to car owners, in which case they can lose up to $80 million annually.
Source Associated Press