Owners of nearly 1,000,000 Hyundai and Kia automobiles may soon be receiving checks in the mail from their automobiles manufacturer to compensate them for the false mileage claims the companies made about those vehicles.
The Environmental Protection Agency annually tests about 15 percent of automobiles to be certain they meet or exceed the mileage promises made by their manufacturer. Their recent tests showed that certain Kia and Hyundai vehicles had wrong mileage estimates posted on window stickers for the last few years. The differences are between one and 6 miles-per-gallon, per vehicle.
The audit turned up discrepancies between agency test results and data turned in by Hyundai and Kia, the EPA said. As a result, the two automakers will have to knock one or two miles per gallon off the mileage posted on most of the models’ window stickers. Some models will lose three or four miles per gallon, and the Kia Soul, a funky-looking boxy small SUV, will lose six mpg from the highway mileage on its stickers….
The changes affect 13 models from the 2011 through 2013 model years, including seven Hyundais and six Kias. Window stickers will have to be changed on some versions of Hyundai’s Elantra, Sonata Hybrid, Accent, Azera, Genesis, Tucson, Veloster and Santa Fe models, as well as the Kia Sorrento, Rio, Soul, Sportage and Optima Hybrid.
Hyundai and Kia representatives have both apologized for the error, saying the discrepancy came from a difference in testing standards between what they do and what the EPA does. But regardless of these differences, the damage has already been done.
No doubt the impact of these changes will be long ranging and cost the companies hundreds of millions of dollars in repayments to customers. There will also be some trust lost between buyers of Hyundai and Kia vehicles which will be more difficult to track and estimate until enough time has gone by. In the meantime you can bet that other automobile manufacturers will be taking a second look at their own mileage tests to be certain their vehicles live up to the promises they make to their buyers.