After continued complaints by owners and consumer agencies, an audit by the Environmental Protection Agency has revealed that no Hyundai or Kia model achieves 40 mpg, a number often touted by the Korean automakers.
In fact, Hyundai marketed its cars (including the Elantra, Elantra GT, Elantra Coupe, Sonata, Sonata Hybrid and Veloster), heavily, even using a “save the asterisk” campaign, noting that unlike rivals, Hyundai models achieved the all-important 40-mpg number without any qualifications.
As it turns out, that’s no longer the case. Hyundai and subsidiary Kia have announced today that due to, “procedural errors” a total of 900,000 models sold between 2010 and 2012 no longer achieve the claimed fuel economy numbers listed in their window stickers. New, adjusted fuel economy numbers are on average three percent lower, dropping by as much as 6 mpg for the Kia Soul, while most models will only see a downgrade of just one or two miles per gallon.
Still, the decrease is enough to wipe clean any 40 mpg claims from the Hyundai lineup with cars like the Hyundai Accent now listing just 37 mpg highway, while the Elantra is rated at 38 mpg highway compared to a claimed 40 mpg before for both models. Even the Sonata Hybrid has been downgraded from a best of 40 mpg highway to just 39 mpg.
Hyundai and Kia will compensate owners based on the mileage of each vehicle, reimbursing them for the difference between what they have spent in fuel and the amount they would have spent had the numbers been correct. Additionally, both automakers will add an extra 15 percent to that number.