Hyundai, Kia to Pay $350 Million Over False MPG Claims

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad

It will cost Hyundai and Kia more than $350 million to settle the government’s two-year investigation into the inflated fuel-economy ratings of some 1.2 million vehicles.

According to a joint statement by the Justice Department and EPA the Korean automakers will pay a $100 million civil penalty then spend $50 million to establish an independent fuel economy certification group. The companies will also have to give up about 4.75 million greenhouse gas emission credits, estimated to be worth more than $200 million.

“This unprecedented resolution with Hyundai and Kia underscores the Justice Department’s firm commitment to safeguarding American consumers, ensuring fairness in every marketplace, protecting the environment, and relentlessly pursuing companies that make misrepresentations and violate the law,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “This type of conduct quite simply will not be tolerated. And the Justice Department will never rest or waver in our determination to take action against any company that engages in such activities whenever and wherever they are uncovered.”

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Over the past two years these companies have reportedly spent millions of dollars compensating owners of the Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Veloster and Santa Fe as well as drivers with Kia Rios and Souls, models that were affected the most by MPG errors.

The Korean companies also agreed to additional federal oversight and were hit with dozens of class-action lawsuits, which the companies agreed in December 2013 to pay up to $395 million to settle.

These days, more automakers are revising their MPG numbers. Mercedes-Benz, MINI and Ford have recently changed some of their cars’ estimated miles per gallon in order to provide accurate information to consumers and avoid any penalties like Hyundai and Kia are getting stuck with.

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Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

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