Hyundai is backpedalling after reporting exaggerated fuel economy claims on one of its newest models.
The South Korean automaker claimed that its 2015 Sonata mid-size sedan would benefit from a six percent improvement in fuel efficiency to 12.6 kilometers per liter (29.6 mpg). But Hyundai is having to correct itself after government tests showed the car returning a two percent increase to 28.5 mpg compared to the more optimistic claims its own research center reported.
“We are very sorry for causing confusion to reporters,” Hyundai said in a statement.
Hyundai is expected to officially debut the new Sonata next month during the New York Auto Show. The brand will be able to avoid the costly consequences it suffered after being caught in 2012 overstating the fuel economy several of its models offered, the most egregious of which claimed six mpg more than the vehicle actually returns.
Along with sister brand Kia, Hyundai is compensating owners who bought vehicles with the false claims by giving them pre-paid gas cards to make up the additional annual fuel cost.
Despite the controversy, Hyundai and Kia seemed to emerge from the situation with minimal long-lasting consequences. The companies settled lawsuits in North America for a total of $395 million.
The Sonata is Hyundai’s second-best seller in the U.S. and is the second product to adopt the brand’s new design language, following the new Genesis luxury sedan.
[Source: Automotive News]
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