Public interest group Consumer Watchdog has sued Hyundai Motor Company for allegedly misleading consumers in its TV commercials for the 2011 and 2012 Elantra.

The lawsuit claims that ads promoting „the 40 Mile Per Gallon Elantra made people believe the Elantra is more fuel efficient than it actually is. The group argues that TV ads reflected only highway fuel consumption, not city or combined mileage.

Consumer Watchdog also claims Elantra’s city mileage figures (29 mpg), which are mandatory in TV ads, appeared only briefly in small text and were virtually impossible to read by viewers without freezing their screens. As for magazine ads, the group said city mileage disclosures were illegible or even missing.

One Elantra owner that is the plaintiff, Louis Bird of Sacramento (CA), claimed he would not have bought his 2011 Elantra had it not been for Hyundai’s advertising. He also said he’s paying more to refuel than he expected. The lawsuit was filed on July 3 in a California state court in Sacramento.

In a statement, Hyundai North America said the advertised mileage is realistic and referred to tests by the U.S. government and three magazines supporting its claim.


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