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    Not Surprised: Hyundai and Kia Get Hit With Two Lawsuits On Fuel Economy


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    November 8, 2012

    With the news of Hyundai and Kia saying they have overstated fuel economy numbers on a certain number of models, the lawsuit have begun to come out of the woodwork.

    Earlier this week, a lawsuit was filled in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio against the two companies. The lawsuit seeks unspecified attorney fees along with damages for U.S. buyers or leasers of one of the 900,000 Hyundai or Kia models. The suit also asks the court to allow people who own or lease a Hyundai and Kia that live in the state of Ohio to back out of their agreements.

    Then yesterday, the two companies were hit with another lawsuit filled in U.S. Central District Court in Los Angeles on behalf of 23 plaintiffs. The suit is seeking $775 million in compensation for who state the resale values have been damaged by the inflated figures.

    “Plaintiffs and the Class have been damaged by Hyundai’s and Kia’s misrepresentations, concealment, and non-disclosure of the incorrect fuel economy numbers, because they were misled into purchasing Hyundais and Kias of a quality different than they were promised, and paying higher fuel costs they would not otherwise have paid,” the suit says.

    Both suits are seeking class-action status.

    Source: Automotive News, 2 (Subscription Required)

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    yeah, after the less likely lawsuit against Honda over the mpg of the Civic Hybrid, you knew this was coming.

    Yes with the Genie out of the bottle, you had to figure they have a few billion set aside to pay for this. Now is the time for lawyers to make a killing in fees.

    One does have to wonder how this will affect both companies over the short term and long term. Could one of these companies go away or at least get greatly reduced in size?

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    I doubt anything will really happen to the resale of these vehicles, or that there will be a drastic drop in overall sales. Saying you are paying drastically more for gas at 38 vs 40 mpg is pretty ridiculous. Most window stickers even state that the rating means most drivers will see a +/- of 3-5 mpg anyway... If they purposely inflated the numbers, that's bad...if it really is just poor testing procedures, I could understand. I work for an engine company and do a lot of similar testing, and the requirements really aren't always as well laid out or strict as people may think.

    Edit: They should be fixing the issues if they are real...and I understand that there were some vehicles and trims with bigger drops than 2 mpg...it was just an example...

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    It will get thrown out....

    Depends on how able the plaintiffs are able to show it was intentionally deceiving or when Hyundai/Kia knew that the rating was wrong. If they knew it was wrong last year yet kept selling cars with that sticker on it, well then, there might be cause.

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    It will get thrown out....

    Depends on how able the plaintiffs are able to show it was intentionally deceiving or when Hyundai/Kia knew that the rating was wrong. If they knew it was wrong last year yet kept selling cars with that sticker on it, well then, there might be cause.

    With different driving styles, won't be easy to prove. Though I'm sure H/K did theirs under perfect conditions.....

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    I have seen so many complaints over at owner reviews on Edmunds about GM's 32 mpg claim for the FWD Equinox/Terrain... it's like nobody is getting that figure in the real world.

    Intentionally misleading customers with erroneous fuel mileage ratings, as Hyundai/Kia appear to have done, should be investigated... but if the case is won, it will open a can of worms, I'm afraid. It will put some sort of burden of proof on other car makers.

    Edited by ocnblu
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      It has been over six years since Kia revealed to the world the fantastic looking GT concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Now fast forward to today and Kia has unveiled the production version known as the 2018 Stinger GT.
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      “Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us, and here today in Detroit, that dream is now a reality after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America. “From its GT concept-car origins to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nurburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning.”
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    • By William Maley
      It has been over six years since Kia revealed to the world the fantastic looking GT concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Now fast forward to today and Kia has unveiled the production version known as the 2018 Stinger GT.
      Yes, it may not be as striking at the GT concept. But let's be honest for a moment, have most production vehicles ever lived up in terms of design when compared to the concept? Not really. The Stinger GT retains the overall sportback profile of the GT concept, but adds a bit more sharpness. The front gets dual grilles, cooling ducts for the brakes, and hood vents.
      Power will come from two engines; a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 255 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque or a twin-turbo 3.3L V6 producing 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet. Both engines will come paired with an eight-speed automatic and the choice of rear-wheel drive with a limited-slip differential or all-wheel drive with torque vectoring. The GT Stinger will also be the first Kia model with an electronically-adjustable suspension.
      We'll have more details later tonight as Kia will debut the Stinger GT at an event tonight in Detroit.
      UPDATE: As promised, we have more details on the Stinger GT along with pictures!
      Let's begin with the interior which appears to take some ideas from Mercedes-Benz with the circular air vents and some material choices. A large amount of technology such as wireless device charging, 7-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, navigation, and a small color screen in the instrument cluster. An optional Harman/Kardon audio system packs 15 speakers.
      Size-wise, the Stinger GT is bigger than many of it competitors (Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class to name a couple). Overall length is 190.2-inch, while width comes in at 73.6 inches. The model rides on a 114.4 inch wheelbase.
      No matter which engine you pick, it will feature a set of performance tires as standard. The turbo-four rides on 18-inch wheels, while the twin-turbo V6 gets 19-inch wheels along with Brembo brakes.
      Sales are expected to begin this summer.
      Source: Kia
      Press Release is on Page 2


      2018 Kia Stinger Makes World Debut At North American International Auto Show
      Powerful all-new Fastback Sport Sedan Redefines the Kia Brand  Kia Motors follows through on the promise of a production model of the GT concept Designed in Frankfurt, developed on the Nurburgring, industry-leading quality by Kia DETROIT, January 8, 2017 – At an event typically dominated by introductions from American auto companies, Kia Motors America (KMA) today stole the spotlight with the world debut of the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger (hereafter Stinger) at the North American International Auto Show.  A five-passenger fastback sports sedan poised to redefine a segment currently populated by European automakers, the Stinger promises to be the highest-performance production vehicle in the company’s history and is backed by Kia Motors’ industry-leading quality and reliability.  Offered with multiple engine and drivetrain configurations and luxurious accommodations, the Stinger is planned to go on sale in the U.S. late this year.  Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date.
      “Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us, and here today in Detroit, that dream is now a reality after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America. “From its GT concept-car origins to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nurburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning.”
      Instantly recognizable as a direct evolution of the concept that preceded it, the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger design was overseen by Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ chief design officer, and his talented team of designers in Frankfurt.  Ride and handling development was looked after by Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development and his group of engineers in Korea and on the grueling Nurburgring racing circuit.  
      But what makes a true gran turismo?  This question was the foundation for a years-long journey that began when the GT concept was first unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.  Although every Kia design study has a purpose, the GT concept was something considered by many outside the company as little more than a dream for a brand known for producing mass-market transportation rooted in value.  But the GT ignited embers of passion that sparked a fire within the organization and over the next five years that fire would grow beyond fantasy and morph into reality.
      Once the Stinger was green lighted, that gran turismo question became a mantra as development commenced.  Coming from Kia, the design had to be bold.  And it was.  But it also had to be nimble and fast while also luxurious and quiet.  It had to achieve the perfect balance of ride and handling and seat five comfortably with room for luggage. It had to be a lot of things, but most of all, it had to be an authentic gran turismo.  And it is.
      Design
      Turning a concept into a production car is no small task and Schreyer looked no further than Kia’s Frankfurt studio – the birthplace of the GT concept – to bring the Stinger to life.  “A true gran turismo, a car for spirited long-distance driving, is not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling, all at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace,” notes Gregory Guillaume, chief designer, Kia Motors Europe.  “The Stinger has nothing to do with being the first to arrive at the destination – this car is all about the journey.  It’s about passion.”
      From its sleek front clip through its svelte flanks, and up to its powerful haunches, the Stinger exudes a muscular confidence.  Key to its road presence are the rear-wheel-drive proportions; a long hood and short front overhang, an extended wheelbase to deliver a spacious cabin, and a long rear overhang with strong shoulders.  The Stinger’s stance and visual balance are designed to lend the car an air of elegance and athleticism, rather than boy-racer aggression.
      The wide front and rear track, along with the recessed contours along the doors, enhance the visual power of the Stinger’s shoulder line as well as its fastback silhouette.  Other purely functional elements of the exterior design – the front air curtains, wheel arch gills, smooth underbody, and integrated rear diffuser – aid its aerodynamic efficiency.  The rear valance houses four oval exhaust pipes. Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille sits proudly between complex LED headlamps.
      The low-slung cabin with its steeply raked windshield and backlight, sits toward the rear of vehicle, creating a fast silhouette.  Inside is a space dedicated to the thrill of driving while cossetting the occupants in luxury.  Available ultra-soft Nappa leather covers the deeply contoured seats and the driver’s seat has available air-cell bladders in the seatback and bolsters for optimal support and comfort.  A confident dashboard creates a strong horizontal plane for the driver to work.  The center console is intuitively split into two specific areas: the infotainment controls sit neatly below a large color touchscreen, while the climate and ventilation controls nestle beneath.   Front and center of the driver is a thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a single instrument binnacle with a combination of analog and digital instrumentation.  The large gauges are ringed in metal and accentuated with sweeping red needles.  A color TFT screen between the gauges relays performance data such as cornering G-forces, lap times and engine-oil temperature, along with ancillary information such as the trip computer, driver settings, navigation and diagnostics.  Aeronautically-inspired spoked circular vents are found front and rear and a tasteful satin chrome trim piece encircles the cabin.  The effect is a feeling of cocooned intimacy.  But the long wheelbase allows for generous front and rear leg room and the low seating position provides ample head room front and back.
      Chassis
      Joining the company from BMW in December, 2014,  Albert Biermann’s first look at the Stinger signaled to him a car that had to live up to its stunning design from behind the wheel.  “I think for the Kia brand, the Stinger is like a special event,” notes Biermann.  “Because nobody expects such a car, not just the way it looks but also the way it drives. It's a whole different animal.”
      Setting the manufacturing hard-points of the body-in-white would define Stinger and the engineers looked carefully across a landscape dotted with contenders.  At 114.4 inches, the Stinger’s wheelbase is longer than the Audi A4, Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, BMW 4 Gran Coupe and even the Lexus GS and Mercedes CLS1.  It’s also longer overall (190.2 inches) and wider (73.6 inches) than the others in the segment, allowing for spacious accommodations.  The Stinger’s cargo area is also larger than many in its class, with enough space for full-size luggage or golf bags and a power liftgate with Smart Trunk functionality is available.   
      Riding on a chassis comprised of 55 percent advanced high-strength steel, the Stinger provides an ultra-stiff foundation for the ride-and-handling engineers to work with.  This rigidity also contributes to reduced NVH and a quiet cabin.  The MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension has been tuned to provide optimal feedback to the driver.  A Kia first, ride-damping and vehicle handling traits may be modified by the driver through an electronically adjustable suspension known as Dynamic Stability Damping Control.  While always reacting predictably to the driver’s inputs, depending on road conditions and driving style, the Stinger can be tuned to respond with more agility through corners as the system softens the front shocks and firms up the rear.  Conversely, improved high-speed stability is achieved when the system stiffens the front shocks and softens the rear.  The system is accessed through five drive modes (another Kia first): Personal, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Smart.  
      Standard variable ratio Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) offers razor-sharp feedback through direct mounting of the electric motor on the steering rack, enhancing steering response and reducing unwanted vibration from transmitting through the column.  Steering boost is also adjustable through the five selectable drive modes.
      Powertrain
      If the chassis symbolizes the bones of a gran turismo, then surely the available powertrains represent its heart.  Oriented longitudinally and set rearward beneath the long, sculpted hood, a choice of two turbocharged engines are available.
      While both engines are still under development, the standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine produces an estimated 255 horsepower at approximately 6,200 rpm.  Max torque of 260 lb.-ft. is available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm.  Performance credentials are further enhanced through the available 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine, which is anticipated to produce 365 horsepower at an estimated 6,000 rpm and offer max torque of 376 lb.-ft. from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm.  Kia is targeting 5.1 seconds to 62 mph and a top speed of 167 mph with the twin turbocharged V6.
      The Stinger features a second-generation eight-speed rear-drive automatic transmission.  First offered in the K900 luxury sedan, the gearbox has been designed in-house and rewards drivers with crisp shifts and maximized fuel efficiency.  More typically found in aviation- and racing-engine applications, the transmission features Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter to help reduce torsional vibrations through the drivetrain.  Drivers can let the gearbox manage shifts on its own or may selectively run through the gears via paddle shifters mounted aft of the steering wheel.  As with the suspension and steering, up to five different shift patterns may be selected through the vehicle’s electronic drive-mode system.  Throttle mapping is also adjusted accordingly.
      Recognizing that passionate drivers may not always reside in optimal climes, the Stinger is Kia’s first sedan available with rear- or all-wheel drive.  Rear-wheel biased for optimal control in the wet or dry, the AWD system features a new Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control system which monitors driver inputs and road conditions and automatically applies power and braking force to the appropriate wheels to maintain course in adverse conditions.  Rear-drive vehicles get the benefit of a mechanical limited slip differential to help evenly distribute power through the rear wheels.
      A choice of alloy wheels and tires are also offered.  The 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder models ride on 225/45R-18 performance tires while the 3.3-liter V6 is shod with staggered ultra-high performance rubber; 225/40R-19 in front and 255/35R-19 at the rear. Vented Brembo®2 disc brakes are standard on the 3.3-liter twin turbo and feature quad-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers.
      Advanced Technology & Convenience
      Offering luxurious amenities and unexpected features have become part of Kia’s DNA and the Stinger continues that tradition.  Multiple Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) seamlessly work together to enhance the driving experience.
      In the United States, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year3.  This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, and 71,000 injuries annually.  A Kia first is the new Driver Attention Alert (DAA)4 system to help combat distracted or drowsy driving.  The system monitors a number of inputs from the vehicle and the driver and will sound a warning chime and display a graphic in the instrument binnacle that it’s time to take a break from driving if it senses the driver’s attention level has been significantly reduced.
      Forward Collision Assistance (FCA)3 with integrated Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)3 with pedestrian detection can detect a potential collision with another vehicle or pedestrian and help bring the car to a halt.  Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC)3 maintains a pre-set distance between the Stinger and the vehicle in front and can bring the car to a full stop in congested traffic.  Lane Keep Assist (LKA)3 actively monitors the vehicle’s intended lane and will alert the driver with an audible warning along with providing steering input to help maintain the vehicle’s position.  Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)3 scans the area behind the vehicle when backing from a parking space and will alert the driver with an audible warning if cross traffic is detected.
      Connectivity, entertainment and vehicle information can be as important as a dynamic driving experience and the Stinger comes to market with the latest infotainment systems.  The height-adjustable color Head-Up Display (HUD)5 display enables the driver to see key driving information reflected on the windshield glass, including speed, turn-by-turn navigation, audio and cruise control settings and Blind Spot Detection information.  Resting within the center console is a wireless Smartphone charging pad and Bluetooth®6 hands-free operation is standard while many of the vehicle’s subsystems may be accessed through the steering-wheel-mounted controls.
      Long-distance travel is a hallmark of the gran turismo ownership experience and there is a trio of high-performance audio systems designed to turn the interior into a dynamic concert hall as the miles blur by.  The base audio system for the 2.0-liter turbo features six-speakers and a seven-inch haptic touchscreen with the latest version of UVO, Kia’s award-winning telematics systems.  The standard system found in the 3.3-liter twin turbo ups the speaker count to nine and includes an external amplifier.  The available premium Harman/Kardon®7 audio system pumps out 720 watts through an external amplifier to provide crystal-clear music.  With 15 speakers and Kia’s first under-seat mounted subwoofers tucked beneath the driver and passenger seats, the system features Clari-Fi™8, a patented music restoration technology that rebuilds audio signals that are lost in the digital compression process.  This technology returns a high-fidelity listening experience to any compressed digital source.  The system also comes equipped with next-generation QuantumLogic™9 Surround Sound technology, which extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and full of detail.        
    • By William Maley
      Hyundai has been seeing its sales declined as it doesn't have enough crossovers and SUV to feed the growing demand by consumers. This, in turn, is causing profits to drop, making investors disappointed. Because of this Hyundai is going crazy with cutting costs.
      Reuters reports that Hyundai's cost-cutting measures include reducing the number of business-class flights, annual trips for overseas workers to see family, and cutting back on fluorescent light bulbs. 
      "We're trying to address a mismatch between the market trend and our product line-up. That's a longer term plan. For now we're trying to save every penny," said a source.
      Hyundai is working overtime to get new crossovers out the door starting with a B-segment model in 2018. In the meantime, Hyundai is redirecting exports from low-demand markets to the U.S.
      Source: Reuters
       

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    • By William Maley
      Hyundai has been seeing its sales declined as it doesn't have enough crossovers and SUV to feed the growing demand by consumers. This, in turn, is causing profits to drop, making investors disappointed. Because of this Hyundai is going crazy with cutting costs.
      Reuters reports that Hyundai's cost-cutting measures include reducing the number of business-class flights, annual trips for overseas workers to see family, and cutting back on fluorescent light bulbs. 
      "We're trying to address a mismatch between the market trend and our product line-up. That's a longer term plan. For now we're trying to save every penny," said a source.
      Hyundai is working overtime to get new crossovers out the door starting with a B-segment model in 2018. In the meantime, Hyundai is redirecting exports from low-demand markets to the U.S.
      Source: Reuters
       
    • By William Maley
      Hyundai Motor America is on the hunt for a new CEO as David Zuchowski has been fired today. Automotive News broke the story this morning after learning from sources about the change. Hyundai has confirmed Zuchowski's departure this afternoon and said W. Gerald Flannery will take over as interim CEO. Dealers were told about the decision last night and employees were notified earlier this afternoon.
      Zuchowski joined Hyundai back in 2007 as the U.S. sales chief and would become CEO at the beginning of 2014. Sources tell Automotive News that Zuchowski was fired because he was unable to meet internal sales objectives. Hyundai was one of the few manufacturers that saw success during the 2008 recession. But in the past few years, Hyundai's growth has been dwindling. 
      2010: 24 percent 2011: 20 percent 2012: 9 percent 2013: 3 percent 2014: 1 percent 2015: 5 percent 2016 (so far): 1.3 percent The reason for the shrink in growth comes down to Hyundai being weak or not having crossovers in certain segments. As we reported last month, Hyundai will be adding a new subcompact crossover in 2018, followed by an even smaller one. Also, the Santa Fe lineup would see some changes. However, it wasn't enough to keep Zuchowski as CEO.
      “We appreciate Dave’s decade of service to Hyundai, especially his leadership as president and CEO, which has made us a stronger organization. I look forward to working closely with our dealers, affiliates, senior management and our talented and hard-working employees across the country to realize Hyundai’s full potential,” said Flannery in a statement.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Truth About Cars, Hyundai
      Press Release is on Page 2


      W. GERALD FLANNERY NAMED INTERIM PRESIDENT AND CEO OF HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
      FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Dec. 21, 2016 – Hyundai Motor America today announced a continuation of a reorganization that began late this year by appointing W. Gerald (Jerry) Flannery as interim president and CEO, effective immediately. He succeeds Dave Zuchowski who will be leaving the company.
      Flannery, who has been with Hyundai since 1987 and is responsible for all legal matters in the U.S., will retain his duties as Chief Legal and Safety Officer. He is widely recognized as an authority on automotive product liability, regulatory and safety matters. His immediate focus will be enhancing the company’s brands, accelerating change for growth and customer satisfaction opportunities in the U.S. market.
      “We appreciate Dave’s decade of service to Hyundai, especially his leadership as president and CEO, which has made us a stronger organization,” Flannery said. “I look forward to working closely with our dealers, affiliates, senior management and our talented and hard-working employees across the country to realize Hyundai’s full potential.”
      Since joining Hyundai during its infancy in 1987, Flannery has been instrumental in leading the company through periods of rapid change and positioning it for steady growth. Recently, he created Hyundai’s first safety office in North America. Previously, Flannery was a senior attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at Ford Motor Co.
      A search for Zuchowski’s replacement will begin immediately.

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