Hyundai, Kia To Compensate Car Buyers For “Over-Estimating” MPG Ratings


For the past year, consumer groups have gone after Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia, claiming that their advertised mpg ratings were over-generous. Well it turns out that the EPA agrees, and Hyundai/Kia will not only downgrade their vehicle mpg ratings, but will also compensate owners of 2011-2013 models affected by the downgrade.

The EPA declared that both automakers are guilty of fudging the numbers, though Kia and Hyundai argue it was merely human error. You’ll remember that Hyundai made a big deal about its 40 mpg rating across the lineup, including the Elantra, Accent, and Veloster models. Going forward, those models will go from a 40 mpg rating to either 37 or 38 mpg on the highway, depending on the model year.

This will affect over 900,000 vehicles, approximately 35% of all Hyundai/Kia models sold in the past two years. Hyundai and Kia claim the numbers were a result of human error, and let us note that this is a “voluntary” compensation program.

Regardless, depending on your odometer readings, you will be compensated for the extra money you spent on gasoline expecting better results, plus an additional 15%. More importantly though, this brings up the question of whether or not manufacturers can be trusted with rating their own vehicles.

Hyundai and Kia may really have been the victims of human error as they claim…but it does raise the question of how accurate our mpg ratings really are these days. Methinks it is a time for a new system that more accurately reflects real-world mpg ratings.

Source: Autoblog

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • Lena

    it’s true is not as much as they claim to be, but still I compare my Hyundai accent with my bf’s car or my dad’s car and it still saves a lot per week. So maybe not as much as it would, but in comparison to other cars, it still is more gas saving, and I’ll get a gas credit card next week to compensate the error, this seems still pretty good deal to me.
    A better measuring system is needed yes, but overall it does not damage my look on Hyundai. I find they managed their mistake pretty well.

  • I thought the EPA were the ones who tested the mileage numbers?


    • RoyEMunson

      NO, in most cases the results are called in. The EPA just provides the SPECIFIC procedures to the manufacturers and only tests a cross section of vehicles to make sure the numbers match up with what manufacturers provide. Hyundai just figured that they wouldn’t get caught.

    • Tim Cleland

      I always assumed that as well, but found out recently that they define the guidelines for testing and leave it mostly up to the manufacturers (honor system). Given that, I’m surprised we don’t see more of this type of thing going on. Truthfully, though, I’ve always been able to handily beat the window sticker numbers in every car I’ve ever owned just using common sense driving (i.e. no hardcore hyper-miling). This was true even pre-2008 when the guidelines lowered all reported mpg ratings to be “more realistic”.

      • T Adkins

        Wow, I learn something new everyday. I too am surprised you don’t hear about this happening more often. Maybe it is the magazines, shows and blogs that do their own rundowns of the cars, that helps to keep the ‘honest’?

  • ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    The EPA define the tests.
    Manufacturers test the vehicles.
    The EPA test a small percentage of vehicles (e.g. 15%) to check the manufacturers’ testing is correct.

  • Trudy

    I own a 2012 Sonata… I love the car, but I have been perplexed wondering why I don’t get better gas mileage…that I expected. I will welcome the compensation. I love the car and get about 21 – 23 mpg instead of the 26 – 30 that I expected.

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