Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
November 2, 2012
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years or so, you have most likely seen the ads from Hyundai touting they sell more vehicles that get 40 MPG on the highway than any other automaker in the U.S. Well, those ads are done as Hyundai and Kia admitted to overstating the estimated fuel economy posted on window stickers of about 900,000 vehicles sold since late 2010.
This announcement comes in part from an EPA investigation which couldn't replicate fuel mileages Hyundai and Kia had claimed on window stickers. The investigation found out that 41% of vehicles sold by the two automakers are affected.
"Consumers rely on the window sticker to help make informed choices about the cars they buy," said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation.
The EPA says their investigation is on going could seek to impose civil penalties on the two companies.
Hyundai Motor America President and CEO John Krafcik explained to The Detroit News the problem was due to a flaw due to changes in its fuel economy tests starting in the 2010 model year.
"We've identified the source of the discrepancies between our prior testing method and the EPA's recommended approach," said Krafcik.
All told, 35% of 2011-2013 Hyundai and Kia models sold through October will see a reduction in fuel economy. Of that 35%,
- 580,000 vehicles will see a drop of around 1 MPG
- 240,000 vehicles will see a drop of around 2 MPG
- 80,000 vehicles will see a drop of around 3 to 4 MPG
Hyundai and Kia are working on new window stickers that will be applied to their vehicles starting today. Also, Hyundai and Kia will reimburse owners for the lower gas mileage on the affected vehicles. Dealers will look at the odometer and calculate how much an owner might have saved if the car achieved the promised gas mileage. From there, Hyundai and Kia will add 15 percent to the dollar total and send out debit cards to owners. The two companies will continue to reimburse customers for as long as they own the vehicles.
Source: The Detroit News
William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
Press Releases is on Page 2
Hyundai Vehicles Effected on Page 3
Kia Vehicles Effected on Page 4
Hyundai/Kia to Correct Overstated MPG Claims as Result of EPA Investigation
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America will lower their fuel economy (mpg) estimates for the majority of their model year 2012 and 2013 models after EPA testing found discrepancies between agency results and data submitted by the company.
The auto companies have submitted to the EPA a plan for cars currently on dealer lots to be re-labeled with new window stickers reflecting the corrected mileage estimates. The mileage on most vehicle labels will be reduced by one to two mpg, and the largest adjustment will be six mpg highway for the Kia Soul.
"Consumers rely on the window sticker to help make informed choices about the cars they buy,' said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "EPA's investigation will help protect consumers and ensure a level playing field among automakers."
At its National Vehicle and Fuel Emission Laboratory (NVFEL) in Ann Arbor, Mich., EPA routinely tests vehicles – 150 to 200 a year, or about 15 percent of the possible vehicle configurations – to ensure that their performance matches the mileage and emissions data required to be submitted to EPA by automakers.
This auditing helps to ensure that vehicles on the road meet tailpipe emission standards to protect public health and the environment and that all carmakers follow the same procedures for calculating mileage estimates. EPA conducts both random and targeted audits, based on factors such as consumer complaints.
EPA had received a number of consumer complaints about Hyundai mileage estimates. Through the agency's ongoing audit program, staff experts at EPA's NVFEL observed discrepancies between results from EPA testing of a MY2012 Hyundai Elantra and information provided to EPA by Hyundai.
The agency expanded its investigation into data for other Hyundai and Kia vehicles, leading to today's announcement.
EPA's audit testing occasionally uncovers individual vehicles whose label values are incorrect and requires that the manufacturer re-label the vehicle. This has happened twice since 2000. This is the first time where a large number of vehicles from the same manufacturer have deviated so significantly.
EPA and DOE are updating their joint fuel economy site, www.fueleconomy.gov, to reflect the Hyundai and Kia corrected numbers.
For more information, please see: http://www.epa.gov/f...labelchange.htm
HYUNDAI AND KIA INITIATE VOLUNTARY PROGRAM TO ADJUST FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS ON SELECT VEHICLES
Automakers' Average Fuel Economy Rating Reduced 3 Percent; Affected Vehicle Owners to be Compensated
ORANGE COUNTY, Nov. 2 – Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America today announced that, following discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they are voluntarily adjusting the fuel economy ratings for approximately 900,000, or 35 percent of, 2011-13 model year vehicles sold through October 31, 2012.
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.
"I sincerely apologize to all affected Hyundai and Kia customers, and I regret these errors occurred," said Dr. W. C. Yang, chief technology officer of Hyundai/Kia research and development. "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 and www.KiaMPGinfo.com.
The fuel economy rating discrepancies 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 are shown in the attachment.
Hyundai and Kia will continue to advance improvements in fuel efficiency through technology and innovation, and continue to fully support the recent rulemaking issued by EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"Given the importance of fuel efficiency to all of us, we're extremely sorry about these errors," said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. "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."
"As a customer-focused organization, we are fully committed to providing consumers with complete and accurate information, and deeply regret the errors were made," said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO, Kia Motors America and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia. "Our reimbursement program is intended to ensure that all affected Kia customers quickly receive fair compensation."