Hyundai, Kia to Pay 900,000 Owners for Bad MPG Estimates

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Hyundai and Kia announced today they would reimburse owners of about 900,000 vehicles for misstated mileage ratings.

The news came after an investigation by the EPA into complaints from consumers that the two companies' mileage claims were inflated. As a result, the stated mpg ratings for 75 different trim levels over three model years will be changed, and window stickers of cars on sale will be replaced to reflect the new numbers.

Cars.com's Mileage Tests of Hyundai and Kia Vehicles In Line With EPA Results

The investigation began when the EPA received complaints from owners of the 2012 Hyundai Elantra compact sedan who said that they were not seeing gas mileage near the stated numbers. Once the EPA’s investigators confirmed a discrepancy, they broadened the audit to the rest of the vehicles.

Hyundai and Kia are owned by the same parent company in South Korea but operate separately in the U.S. Both have seen phenomenal growth in the past few years, not just because of improved styling and quality, but also for their exceptional fuel economy.

The changes affect the 2011-2013 model years with mileage ratings dropping from 1 to 6 mpg on the highway. Combined mileage ratings were more accurate with seven of the 43 Hyundai models and four of the 32 Kia models seeing no change in combined mileage after the audit. Twenty-four of the 43 Hyundais showed a difference of 1 mpg combined, while 11 of the 32 Kias were within 1 mpg of the original rating.

The company explained the error this way: "The fuel-economy rating discrepancies resulted from procedural errors during a process called 'coastdown' testing at the companies’ joint testing operations in Korea. Coastdown testing simulates aerodynamic drag, tire rolling resistance and drivetrain frictional losses and provides the technical data used to program the test dynamometers that generate EPA fuel economy ratings."

The two brands will announce a reimbursement program for current and former owners of the vehicles. A personalized debit card will be issued that will calculate the difference based on fuel prices and miles driven, plus 15% as a mea culpa from the automakers.

Will it be enough to satisfy consumers? That’s a question that will be asked nationwide as owners digest the news.

Below are the breakdowns of every vehicle impacted in the change, provided to Cars.com by Hyundai/Kia. We’ll have much more on this story as it develops throughout the day and coming weeks. If you have a question you’d like answered, leave it in the comments below or email us at editor@cars.com.

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Comments 

sheth

finally the truth comes out. I dont buy the new ratings either, but at least they are more realistic. This is rampant throughout the industry but the auto media isn't really highlighting how recent vehicles are not delivering the EPA mileage. Hyundai is just the worst offender, but you see this in many other brands. These figures were largely too good to be true. I cant believe the sonata escaped, it has consistently failed to deliver in real world testing.

WTF

Not good.

KC

I travel a lot so my experience is based on a multitude of rental cars generally driven anywhere from 2-4 weeks. The worst under performing mpg by far is the Chevrolet Equinox. The most likely to over achieve is a tie between Nissan Altima and Toyota Corolla.

Ben

I seem to recall an overly smug Hyundai commercial that said "really 40 mpg with no asterisk!"

Egg, meet face.

George

and yet the Hyundai Elantra can return outstanding mileage in the hand of people who own tire pressure gauges, and know how to drive.
http://www.caranddriver.com/features/fun-at-40-mpg-feature

JJJR

As the owner of a 2011 Elantra I’ve always thought the 40 MPG figure was only good going downhill with one party onboard. I hit close to 40 on just one occasion and was never able to repeat it. Matter of fact I never came close, mid 30’s is about it.

I believe the hwy number should be much closer to obtainable 80% of the time. I seriously doubt the 38 MPG number qualifies, 36 would be more realistic based on my experience. Despite it all I still like the car even if they did exaggerate the numbers.

Rich

Just another reason to buy a hybrid.

Shorebreak

The corporation realizes they have the potential for one of the largest class action lawsuits in history on their hands. They are now trying to bribe the affected customers with a debit card and 15% pay-off. This ought to get interesting.

ARoberts

I see this as a good thing. Yeah, they could get hammered with a class action lawsuit but realistically how about people stop being so damn lawsuit happy. I dont own a Kia or a Hyundai, Im more of a truck person, but Ive got a few friends who have recently bought one of these cars and they are happy to be getting a reimbursement.

Parrots

I remembered I had a rental 2011 Sonata once on a trip to Colorado. I found it to deliver on its fuel economy estimates.

However, on a trip last year to San Antonio, a rental Kia Sportage could not achieve the highway rating except on long stretches of coasting. In fact, my average fuel economy with mostly highway driving was at about 25 MPG.

Josh

What about other car companies? Given the flexibility in interpreting EPA guidelines, how accurate are the fuel economy labels on any other car??

Does the EPA disclose which vehicles they "audit" each year so we know which window stickers to believe??

Fuel Economy is one of the most important factors when I purchase a new vehicle, so I'd like to know the most accurate data.

chris

90% of the problem is probably the owner/driver.

-Remove your lead foot
-Check your tire pressure
-Stop carrying 300lb of junk in the car
-Stop going through drive thrus
-stop racing from one stoplight to the next

Lance

@josh
There is no flexibility in interpreting the EPA guidelines. That is why Hyundai/Kia is going to suffer a huge hit to it's image and multimillion fines as well as owner reimbursements. That is why this is making headlines because manufactures are so careful to adhere to the EPA guidelines that this is shocking.

@parrots
One highway trip does not duplicate the EPA hwy test. Anybody can drive 65 with cruise on and meet or beat the EPA hwy estimate. The EPA test is a lot more complicated than just getting on the interstate and taking a non-stop trip.

Ansel Moore

I bought a new 2012 KIA
FORTE EX IT IS ONLY GETTING 21 MPG
It is suppose to get 26 miles per gallon in my city driving.
I have been lied to .
Help! What can I do??

Jeff Hilsgen

I bought a new 2012 Sonata and can't believe it's not on the list. The city mileage is less than 20 on my car, and other Sonata owners I know say the same thing.

I don't like liars. I don't like cheats. I will never buy another Hyundai as long as I live.

Jason

I own a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. EPA combined rating is 26 mpg. My actual lifetime reality is 27.26 mpg. Not bad at all. Actual electronic reading over lifetime is 29.09, which irritates me but isn't a big deal.

sheth

@chris

This is not about driving style, this is about fudged EPA test figures. Hyundai is ADMITTING they had incorrect figures on the sticker which means they arent blaming this on driver error. Motortrend tallied up the observed mileage of recent Hyundai/Kia vehicles they have tested and found that almost every one failed to meet EPA combined numbers and some were WAY off. I am sure other automakers have faulty figures as well, they should investigate Ford yet. Fords have consistently failed to meet EPA figures in media testing, especially their hybrids.

Frank Kelly

I have thought that we were filling up more often than we should be. I guess I will actually have to check it out. When do we see some green? Kia Soul

Bob

I love my 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for good mileage AND fun toys like double sunroof, Sirius XM radio, 6-speed that I can use or leave on auto, etc. Mileage is not that big of a deal - it's the king-of-the-world feeling that you get when you're in a red chick-magnet like mine.

Owns One of Both

We own a 2006 Hyundai Elantra and a 2007 Kia Sedona. Although we haven't really calculated the mileage on either all that consistantly, one thing we HAVE noticed is that a 'mile' on the odometer is not a mile in real life. I think they've fudged THAT, too, in order for the warranties to run out quicker. There is some chatter online to that fact, as well. We also hate that their warranties are real BEARS to 'keep up' with. You actually have to have parts REPLACED/SERVICED *BEFORE* they break, at regular time or mileage intervals, no matter what, or risk 'voiding' the warranty. Having to put $400+ into a 4 year old car, when its not even driven that often (I work from home) is BULLHOEY. We gave up on Chrysler vans after the trannys on BOTH the '88 and '97 went at about 80-85,000 miles (NONE of our other vehicles did that) and also had some of the worst braking systems we've ever had. Not sure we'd buy another Hyundai or Kia, but other brands (Toyota & Honda) are overpriced and we didn't like the Fords or the GMs when we shopped/test drove. When will the George Jetson personal spaceships come out?

Average Driver

I consistantly get BETTER than the fuel economy rating in my '05 Civic. In this instance, how is underrating any better than overrating?

Ken Nelson

If your Hyundai model is not on the MPG VIN list, call the 877 number to check. Alsom you can take your Hyundai to any Hyundai dealer, not just the one where you purchased your car for the mileage verification form.

Courtney

My boyfriend bought a 2010th kia soul brand New and it gets horrible gas mileage. are they sure its only the three model years?

H.Mora

This program is for vehicles frpm 2011 to 2013 thats another lie I went to kiampginfo.com site to check if my 2011 Kia Soul qualified sadly but true it says my Kia does not.I jotted their number off the site and will be giving them a call good luck to others that might come across this new Kia hurdle

Geoff

I have a 2010 Soul and I think it gets less than the advertised MPG. Why wasn't the 2010 Soul included?

Piper

I have 2012 Optima. I love it, but the one thing that I don't like is the gas mileage. I don't have a lead foot, don't frequent drive throughs, and don't gun it, EVER. It isn't included in this reimbursement either.

The sales people said 25 in town, 35 highway, and most likely higher than that for both. On average, I get between 18 and 20 at the MOST in town. Not happy about that. Love all the other features, but the reason I went with it was because my previous car got 16 in town. 2 mpg more just doesn't cut it.

Sarah

I agree with the restatements on mileage. I have a 2011 Soul and I average between 25 & 30 miles/gallon, under a good mix of highway and city driving.

ZimbraroTineseo

People need to understand that they might NEVER reach the stated MPG.

The numbers are an average, based on certain driving conditions.

If you live in a mountainous area, you are not likely to hit the MPG figures. Someone in flat Florida is a lot more likely to meet the numbers.

Some people will be above the MPG estimates, some people will be below them. A manufacturer is supposed to ensure that the entire model line averages the MPG figures, not each individual car.

I receive a letter telling me that I am eligible for reimbursement BUT the website has a "reimbursement estimator" that I think is the link to register online AND IT DOES NOT WORK!. Has anyone else tried/used it? I can find the form to mail or email but I'm angry because the Kia site doesn't work either. It makes me wonder...are they making it difficult to register?

Here is the web site for reimbursement: www.Hyundaimpginfo.com

I received a letter with the web site for reimbursement: www.hyundaimpginfo.com. Has anyone else had difficulty with this site? The "reimbursement estimator" DOES NOT WORK and I think it is the link to get registered. I can find the form another way and mail or email it but it makes me wonder if they're making it difficult on purpose. I have a hyundai but the Kia site doesn't work either.

John

We bought our Elantra GT last summer largely based on Consumer Reports' high recommendation (for the sedan and coupe, anyway), the good mpg rating, and what seemed to be excellent value in comparison with comparable cars such as the Mazda 3 Hatchback and the Ford Focus Hatchback. We really enjoy driving the car, but have been disappointed from the start with the mileage, which has been averaging around 30 mpg, which I would estimate at around 40/60 city/highway. We had hoped to be averaging at least 33 or so.

We drove the car from NW Washington to San Diego at the end and averaged maybe 32 with mostly highway driving and the back of the car full of camping gear. The best we did was 37.5 coming home on a long stretch of I-5 in Oregon.

I guess we should be glad we're doing so much better than folks who are reporting mpg in the low 20's for their 2011-2013 Elantras and the fact that Hyundai is saying they'll reimburse us for some of the extra cost, but we still feel pretty ripped off. We sure as heck would have taken a closer look at the Mazda 3 Hatchback, which sounds like it's quite a bit zippier than the Elantra.

Mike

Haha ... I knew it. I took my Soul in to the shop trying to get the mechanics to look at my vehicle because it averaged so much less mpg than it was supposed to. They blew me off and gave me some bullshit about elevation.

Tammy

I have a 2011 Kia Soul and the gas mileage has sucked since day 1. I asked my dealer 4 different times why my gas mileage was low and i kept getting different excuses. I think the 2011 should have been included in this.

Dawn Robert

I HAVE TO AY THAT I AM PLEASES WITH MY KIA SOUL EVEN THOUGH I HAD MY DOUBTS ABOUT THE MILAGE AFTER COUPLE WEEKS OF DRIVING STARED SPENDING MORE ON THE GAS THAN WAS TOLD

Jim Rea

This is woefully insufficient. I wish i was only getting 2 MPG under the estimates on the highway. I'm getting under 30 MPG doing 55 MPH and using cruise control. I am telling as many people as I can to never buy a Hyundai product. The dealer treats me like a moron and gives me a total BS story and promises me things and just goes away and hopes that I will forget that thier product is atrocious. I won't forget and i won't stop trying to educate people on how bad they are.

livid kia owner

i have been LIVID since i bought this car (2012 kia soul)...the sticker said 27 city - 34 highway and that is the SOLE reason we bought the car...the salesman swore up and down that the numbers are accurate and that mfg's do not fudge the numbers anymore since honda lost a lawsuit...these mfg's NEED TO LEARN A LESSON...it is MAJOR BS

livid kia owner

i had the car for 3 months and went to the dealer to complain about my gas mileage and the dealer acted like he never heard anything about a gas mileage problem, they kept the car and tested everything called me to tell me that everything checked out fine, no problems with the fuel pump or filter etc etc, "come get your car and be on yhour merry way", 2 months later this report came out...FU KIA

stormtroopin'

Old news but I had to comment: I get 38 to 40 in my Veloster with manual trans. I get the original sticker mileage. Hyundai had to change it by 1 city, 3 hwy- whoopdefrigindoo. Still a better car than any Mazda, Ford, or Honda I have owned. My '07 Fit did get 44mpg mixed driving a few times, but it had thin sheet-metal and engine was weak & buzzy.

Sharon

2010 Kia Forte SX 6-spd manual (rated 22/32). Should be getting at least 26mpg (mixed driving rating) in mostly highway driving. I barely get 22mpg and I leave the computer set to gas mileage all the time to monitor. Unfortunately, I'm not eligible for the debit card as it only affects 2011+ and not Forte. I was contemplating another Kia, but I think I'll be looking at a Prius instead.

Andrea Shuman

I really feel cheated on purchasing my hyundai accent after the recall and before. This is my first time buying a brand new car and it's been nothign but problems. I would like to return it back to the dealership. Is this possible? I don't drove that much and the gas goes so quickly and there is definitly something wrong with this car. It is only 1 and half years old 7000 miles on it. What can I do?

sahab

The lie continues in 2013. My week-old Elantra GT is doing under 26 miles/g in mostly highway driving. The sticker says 27 miles in city and 37 on highyway, combined 30, which should be higher in my case since I mostly drive on the highway. I have been cheated! I wish I could return the car! Do I have any recourse?

Donna Frost

I rent cars frequently through the year since I am a traveling musician. I was told by the company I rent from that the KIA Soul got "great gas mileage". I can honestly say the Kia Soul does NOT get great gas mileage. Far from it. I spent way more on gas than I should have to go from Nashville to Atlanta and back to Nashville. A tank of gas in a Ford Focus or a Chevrolet Cruze would have made the trip and back. It took close to a full tank of gas going each way driving the KIA Soul. I never want to drive one again. If you are looking for a gas efficient vehicle, the KIA Soul is not for you.

RICK WIDDIFIELD

DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHAT WEBITE OF PHONE NUMBER TO CALL TO GET GAS REFUND?

IF SO PLEASE CALL ME AT 1 888 633 5198 OR EMAIL ME AT SCRAPBROKERUSA@YAHOO.COM

THANK YOU

jon

I have KIA SPORTAGE 2007 LX 2 well drive and I cant past more of 50 miles with 6 gallons of gas in city,i have 19000 mile in board.what its the problem? 2011 I have recoll from factory for reset the computer and from this time my kia spen more gas and I cant drive.

Caitlin

I don't know about everyone else, but I have a 2012 Accent, and my car constantly gets better then even the original mileage. Even with my small tank that only holds about 10 gallons I am hardly ever at the gas station. I am in college about 4 hours away from my house, and traveling back and forth on the highway I can always get at least 45 miles to the gallon going home. With the added eco button that my car came with I usually am getting closer to 50 mpg. So while this reimbursement program is great, extra money is always nice, I have never had a problem gas mileage. I love Hyundai as a dealership and have never had one problem with the company or car. I don't know why everyone else is having so many problems, if it is an Accent thing or maybe my car is a fluke or something. I feel sorry for everyone else that is getting such bad mileage, but hardly any car gets exactly what is predicted, so I don't personally think that one or two extra miles makes that much of a difference. I might be biased though because my car does do so well, but still.

Bear

My NEW Optima EX only delivers about 22 MPG city and 24 highway. Is the MPG rated at specific speeds? I use the ECO mode all the time. What can we expect from Kia?

Joe

They sure as hell didn't include the GNC Terrain in this study. "AWD up to 29 mpg" What a joke? I might get 29 mpg going down hill, a/c off, 25 mph wind behind me, and the engine OFF. It's more like 23 mpg (road mpg) and that's 20% less than what they say.

Lisa Ward

Bought a 2013 Kia Sportage. Getting about 8 MPG less than the sticker estimate. Can anybody tell me how to get a reimbursement or add myself to any existing class actions for the 2013 models? Thanks.

Kasual Ace

My 2012 accent performs as advertised and at times better; it has much to do with the driver. Okay so I get 38 MPG in the city, and 45 MPG on the highway. I only spend $36 to fill my tank and it last me all week. Hyundai has come a long way and I would purchase a Hyundai over a Honda any day.

Irfan Currimbhoy

We own a 2009 Hyundai Tuscon and the fuel mileage is very poor. We get around 6kms/L on highways.

Lawrence

I got a new 2011 Hyundai Tucson FWD. I have consistantly received around 8-10 MPG city and never received more than 24 MPG Hwy. This is all a bunch of bull. I have saved every receipt for gas. I almost lived at the dealership trying to get it fixed. They said it was NY driving, city driving. If anyone wants to see my records I would love to share them. I purchased the car for gas mileage and received 1/2 of what was advertised. also the computer digital MPH says 20mph when the speedometer say I am doing 50 mph. DOes anyone have a fix for there sick car computer. I saved up for 10 years to get a car a wound up with this lemon. never will by a hyundai again.. told friends, relatives, everwhere I go.. I tell people and show them the proof in the documentation. tried to reach hyundai they never got back to me.

Disenchanted

Unbelievable!!!! Own a 2012 Tucson. Mileage is 23-25mph. So not close to the promised 30 mph. I agree with the short miles on the odometer as well. The warranty requirements are burdensome to say the least. I'll never buy anything but American in the future,

Cali Sharp

Who do I Contact about my Kia?

We drove the car from NW Washington to San Diego at the end and averaged maybe 32 with mostly highway driving and the back of the car full of camping gear. The best we did was 37.5 coming home on a long stretch of I-5 in Oregon.

Confused

Does the settlement apply to leased vehicles? Also, I leased a 2013 Elantra in September 2013. Hyundai's site says cars must have been purchased in 2010 - 2012. Does this make sense?

jeff

noticed they left out the 6 cyl awd Santa fe, whats with that??

I don't get anywhere close to the window sticker., highway or city, I never test in the city, but highway, no breeze , flat, evening absolute best conditions at 100 k and the best I will get on a 100 k run is 8.7 to 9 so that is not average conditions.

when the car companies quite using some fancy mathmatical equation at 90 K to estimate milage and actually do a roadtest, maybe they will get estimates that are believable.

eriberto figueroa

where do I need to call to get money on gas mileage been wrong or let them buy back my car gas is to high now

J Segaard

Hi guys, I know this is an old article, but I wanted to comment for anyone who is interested: I OWN a 2011 Kia Forte EX sedan. 2.0L Automatic 6-speed sportmatic/h-matic shift.

It is a good car, excellent value for money. Mileage, with 4 brand new bridgestone Ecopia (focused on fuel economy, not the best "feel") inflated properly, always driving in the "eco" zone, RPM almost always below 2k, usually 1.5k, IN ALL GEARS.. I mean, I"m talking very careful fuel sipping driving. I do live in hawaii and it is hot, so we have the air-conditioner running.. other than that, were really careful.. I average 22mpg TWENTY TWO.. and that's a 40/60 mix of city/freeway driving. at most.. sometimes 25/75.. at the peak of fuel economy, on a flat freeway, i can get a "whopping" 27mpg. at the very best.. usually we get about 22-23 average..

That being said, i don't find it's a deal-breaker. I had a 2009 corolla before that and it felt lousy to drive. better fuel economy but no fun and the driver's seat is mounted at a very odd angle compared to the steering wheel, instrument panel, and gas/brake pedals, and footrest. feels all out of balance..

IMPORTANT: i had a 2010 kia forte. same specs. brand new.. had nothing but trouble. wouldn't shift gears sometimes, antilock brakes engage for NO reason, instrument panel going nuts.. etc etc. felt horrible. took it in to kia, the mechanics blew me off.. sound familiar? i spent countless hours and days there. my boss was upset, and i could have lost my job.. but i fought.. it finally took me writing to several VPs at Kia USA, and hounding the regional office in california, but they took back the car and gave us a new 2011 forte. I had TOLD the mechanics from DAY ONE, it is a computer problem.. I know this type of thing, I'm a technician. they wouldn't even check it. the final diagnosis? a major computer I/O issue. cable was damaged at factory and instaled wrongly, causing intermittent communication.. i found out thanks to a very nice girl who leaked the info to me off-site. they were all telling me there's just minor instrument panel issues, and kia would repair it. I said no way. this car had been driven in such a messed up state, with wrong info coming to and going from the computer, who knows what damage had already been done to the drivetrain or something? the engine already sounded loud and annoying after only 11,000 miles. So after including my leaked info in an email a VP at kia, I was awarded a new vehicle, provided i sign a form prohibiting me from going to the media and waiving my right to legal recourse (this isnt poor form on kia's part.. this is standard practice, and i would do the same). i still will likely buy another kia/hyundai, probably an elantra or a sonata/optima.. but I will test drive the ACTUAL car they are selling me, extensively around the area first.

Mark Mellon

for all those in the car buying public watch out for McLaughlin motorsPortland Oregonthe salesman represented to me that they had a car that they didn't have spend a lot of time driving to their location.
I was pacifically looking for 2014 Genesis with power seatbecause of cash back money from the factoryI told the sales person that I would arrive between 900 1000 morning to see the car.we have plenty of time to call me and let me know that they didn't have that car. but they chose instead to try and bait and switch me. I will never not for any reason whatsoever visit that dealership again

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