Hyundai, Kia admit overstated mileage claims, will compensate owners image

Hyundai Motor Company and its affiliate Kia Motors Corporation admitted to have exaggerated the gasoline mileage for more than 1 million 2011 to 2013 model year cars in the United States and Canada.

As a consequence, the carmakers will offer debit cards to customers to make up the difference. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Friday the two South Korean automakers have submitted a plan to apply new window stickers reflecting the corrected mileage estimates on cars currently on dealer lots.

The mileage on most labels will be reduced by one to two miles per gallon, with the largest adjustment being a six mpg highway reduction for the Kia Soul.

“I sincerely apologize to all affected Hyundai and Kia customers, and I regret these errors occurred. Following up on the EPA’s audit results, we have taken immediate action to make the necessary rating changes and process corrections,” said W.C. Yang, chief technology officer of Hyundai/Kia R&D department.

The South Korean automakers said the changes will result in the 2012 Hyundai-Kia fleet fuel economy level being reduced by an average of 3 percent, to 26 mpg from 27 mpg.

Hyundai and Kia said about 900,000 of 2011 to 2013 model year vehicles (35 percent) were affected in the U.S. market, along with about 172,000 automobiles in Canada. Hyundai and Kia blamed procedural errors at their joint testing operations in Korea that led to the incorrect fuel economy ratings.