Hyundai, Kia Overstated Mileage To Cost Millions

    November 2, 2012
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Car manufacturers Hyundai and Kia have made a significant blunder regarding the expected mileage of several vehicle models, which will cost them millions of dollars to compensate for.

Both Hyundai and Kia are owned by the same company, and while they share factory space, each boasts different makes and models of vehicle. The mistake was discovered by the EPA during a study which compared the agency’s test results and the research data turned in by the company, and will require an update of mileage stickers on the affected models as well as various payouts to the consumers who have already been affected by the misinformation.

Spokespeople for Hyundai say the numbers–which show a 1-6 mile per gallon discrepancy–were a complete mistake on their part and were not intended to pull the wool over the eyes of their customers.

“We’re just extremely sorry about these errors,” said John Krafcik, Hyundai’s CEO. “We’re driven to make this right.”

The Kia Soul will take the hardest hit, dropping six miles per gallon for its highway fuel economy estimate to 29.

The company will issue debit cards to those drivers affected to make up for the difference, and says the owners can take advantage of the offer for as long as they own the car. Assuming all 900,000 of those affected accept the debit card deal, Hyundai/Kia is looking at shelling out around $79 million per year.

Image: Kia

  • http://www.hybridupdate.com John James

    Let me start off by stating that I think the Kia Optima Hybrid (2012) is a beautiful car. I paid $32,000.00 for my Kia at Century Kia in Tampa Florida. My salesman was Jesus Perez and the General Sales Manager at this dealership is Mr. Hector Proenza.

    During the first month of driving my new Kia Optima Hybrid, my average miles per gallon did not appear to be more than a mile or two off per gallon off the estimated MPG displayed on the window sticker.

    However, as the first month went by, I noticed that the center console screen was displaying that I was averaging 40 MPG and up, however, the instant average miles per gallon (displayed on the dash display) stated I was receiving and average of 29 to 31 miles per gallon – huh?

    I began to keep a log as to how many gallons I was putting into the car by filling up the car (not over filling) and setting the Trip A meter to zero. I would then drive the car down (until nearly empty) and then fill the car up. I would then divide the number of gallons pumped into my car by the number of miles displayed on the Trip A meter.

    My average miles per gallon were totaling no more than 27.9 miles per gallon consistently.

    In fact, on every fill up (I currently have 7800 miles on the car) no gauge in the car has ever stated the correct gas mileage (MPG) since the car was purchased. The center console screen states one thing, the instant economy gauge states another and, the simple math division test basically (logically) states the CORRECT gas mileage, which is not off by a few miles per gallon but, by many.

    When I say MANY, I mean WAY too many.

    The sticker states 35 MPG on the highway and in the city I should be enjoying 40 MPG. The end result is that when I purchased this car, my salesman (and the General Manager) raved about the mileage, as I traded in my Prius, which delivered 48 MPG consistently.

    There was NEVER a time in my Prius when any of the MPG display gauges did NOT state the correct gas mileage.

    Let’s not forget that I came out of a Prius and KNOW how to milk a hybrid for every mile it can get and, quite frankly, I’m astounded at the TV commercial touting the 64.55 MPG from the two knuckleheads who went a across the United States. They claim that they drove 7,899 miles over two weeks in a Kia Optima Hybrid (with no special modifications) and claimed to achieve an ASTOUNDING 64.55 miles per gallon. Interesting that Guinness granted and verified this world record.


    Okay, one would think that a car that could get into the Guinness Book of World Records for achieving such a feat (64.55 miles per gallon, which has been verified) is believable, right? No, one would be WRONG!

    I don’t know what conditions this car achieved 64+ MPG and quite frankly, I certainly don’t believe a word of this nonsense, as I can’t get this car to break 30 MPG under any condition. I have driven without air, without the radio on, without the air conditioned seats running and, mastered the glide to red lights and slow start ups at green lights. I have coasted and rolled my way – not into the record books – but, back to the car dealership where they stated they have NO clue what’s wrong with this car. In fact, the best they could do was disconnect the battery in the trunk and let the computer reset itself. This did nothing but allow me the honor of installing my contact list back into the on board telephone book.

    I called Century Kia many times concerning the MPG problem and there was no help so, I called Kia Motors directly and they offered me help through a service called Tech Line. You get a case number and they use this number to ensure that you indeed get help through the dealership.

    I called Century Kia and their Service Manager did not offer any and in fact, he seemed perturbed that I got tech line involved in my case and told me that they would have my car for a number of days and, if tech line could not walk their service people through solving the problem with my car, they would then send a specialized mechanic in from their hybrid division. Here’s the rub. On the day I’m to bring the car into them, I asked for a loaner car and the service manager told me that would take days to get approved and he basically hung up the phone on me. Not nice, not professional.

    It turns out Kia wants me to pay for a rental car while they figure out why their car does NOT get the gas mileage they have stated on the sticker of the car. One would think that if you’re going to sell a car based on claiming a World Record and, repeatedly selling consumers on buying the car based upon the MPG, then it should be within a slight margin of error.

    In my case, the margin of error is six to ten miles per gallon (or more) and that’s NOT a slight error, that amounts to fraud – plain and simple.

    Let’s keep in mind, I purchased a Hybrid as I thought I would get near 38 MPG and could even milk it a bit more, however, the guys selling me on this car could have been related to Joe Isuzu telling me this car would go 300 miles per hour – downhill in hurricane – of course.

    What’s my solution? Well, Century Kia and Kia Motors, I’m coming to get ya into a court room. No, I’m not going to get involved in a class action so that I fill the pockets of class action attorneys, I’m going to file a lawsuit against you with an attorney out of Tampa and you’re going to pay for the lies, deception and fraud.

    Now, you have my Tech Line number and you’re welcome to call me and work this out by taking back your World Record Kia Optima Hybrid and giving me back my money or, we can duke this out in a court room and the court of public opinion.

    I (as many) work WAY too hard for my money and I will not be scammed, deceived and lied to. Yesterday (November 1st) Kia Tech Line called me to ask a whole bunch of questions about the MPG issue in my Hybrid (and that of my neighbor’s Hybrid) and today, well, you all landed yourselves in a Washington Post article that simply tells me you KNEW all along about this LIE.

    Don’t even think of offering the difference back in a gas card, as I bought this car for everything it was advertised to be and that includes the stated gas mileage. My story is on hybridupdate.com

  • k ridgley

    go get ’em John…they need to be made accountable! I hope you get what you want,because we are all tired of the corporate businesses getting away with stuff. Oh,by the way,what excuse did the oil company use for the high cost of gas on the day you bought that car,and the week after that, and the week after that, and so on and so on? They have more excuses for that than my kids have for not turning in their homework!