Hyundai False MPG Claims Could Prompt Senate Probe

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

Some might have expected a small riot after news surfaced that Hyundai inflated its mpg claims on more than 1 million recently sold cars, but the media brouhaha was worse than any other backlash — so far.

That might change very soon. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee isn’t satisfied and wants to know how Hyundai and Kia will deal with customers whose vehicles were bought under false pretenses. He sent a letter to Hyundai Motors America CEO John Krafcik which warned that the brands could face congressional hearings over the scandal. Representatives from Hyundai and Kia both declined to comment on the letter.

“I will monitor the results of the EPA’s ongoing investigation to better understand how this error occurred, how Hyundai and Kia may have used inflated fuel economy numbers to attract consumers, and how federal enforcement agencies can better deter similar violations in the future,” he said.

SEE ALSO: Hyundai, Kia Sued in US Over Incorrect MPG Claims

Currently, the automakers are offering customers debit cards loaded with an amount meant to compensate for the false mileage claims plus a 15 percent bonus.

“We’ve got eight regions in the country where we check the average fuel price. We look at how many miles you’ve driven and what the difference in your specific car what the fuel economy label was and what it’s been adjusted to,” said Hyundai public relations senior manager Jim Trainor. “Then you get 15 percent on top of that.” The offer is also good for the life of the vehicle.

Moody’s Investor Service predicted that the compensation could cost the company $100 million annually. Still, the company is remaining profitable and if recent sales reports are any indication, both Korean brands will be able to weather the storm with relative ease.

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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2 of 6 comments
  • Jim Williams Jim Williams on Dec 10, 2012

    My 2013 Hyundai Elantra was advertized at 40 mpg highway. EPA claims 38 mpg. On open highway with little or no breaking at 50-60 mph, I get 31 mpg. And I'm not happy about it! So far, complaints to my Hyundai dealer have gotten me nowhere. I'd be open to suggestions as to what my options are.

  • Ageless2 Ageless2 on Mar 11, 2013

    I am fighting my Hyundai dealer among other things, the mileage lie and the fact that the Elantra is the only car that does not have a spare tire. so, if you get a blow out, road side assistance will take you to the nearest Hyundai and if it is the weekend, you are screwed. If you take it to another tire repair shop, you have to pay the tow and may lose on the warranty. I am upset with both of these things