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Aaron Gold

Buh-bye, 40 MPG: Hyundai and Kia adjust MPG ratings, offer buyers compensation

By November 2, 2012

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Hyundai Accent: 40 MPG no moreIn response to an EPA investigation, prompted by complaints from consumers unable to achieve the advertised MPG, Hyundai and their subsidiary Kia have lowered the EPA fuel economy ratings for several 2011, 2012 and 2013 models, and plans to compensate around 900,000 owners for the added fuel costs.

The changes affect several Hyundai and Kia models, most notably the Hyundai Elantra sedan, Hyundai Accent, and Kia Rio, all of which were rated for 30 MPG city and 40 MPG highway. These ratings drop to 28/38 for the Elantra, 28/37 for the Accent and automatic Rio, and 29/37 for the manual Rio. The biggest decrease was for the Kia Soul 2-liter, which decreased by 3 MPG in the city and 6 MPG on the highway.

How does something like this happen? It's a little-known fact that the EPA does not actually test most cars -- they allow the manufacturers to do the testing, although they will test and certify the results on some cars. As you can probably surmise, all of the affected vehicles were tested by Hyundai/Kia, and not the EPA.

Hyundai blames the inaccurate estimates on an honest mistake in the testing procedure, and insists that there was no intention to deceive either the EPA or the buying public.

Hyundai plans to compensate owners of the affected cars in the form of a debit card. The compensation amount will be calculated based on the difference in the combined EPA fuel economy estimates, fuel prices in the owner's vicinity, and the mileage driven anually, plus fifteen percent. A Los Angeles Elantra owner who drives 12,000 miles per year can expect compensation of about $55 per year.

Along with the 2011-13 Elantra sedan, 2012-13 Accent and 2012-13 Rio, affected Hyundai models include the 2013-13 Azera, 2013 Elantra Coupe, 2013 Elantra GT, 2012-13 Genesis Sedan, 2013 Santa Fe, 2011-13 Sonata Hybrid, 2012-13 Tucson, 2012-13 Veloster and 2013 Veloster Turbo. Affected Kias are the 2012-13 Optima Hybrid, 2012-13 Sorento 2.4, 2012-13 Soul, and 2012-13 Sportage.

For more information, and to see if your Kia or Hyundai is eligible for compensation, visit HyundaiMPGinfo.com or KiaMPGinfo.com. -- Aaron Gold

Photo Hyundai

November 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm
(1) Mike in Minn says:

Didn’t the same thing happen to Honda and Toyota a number of years ago?

November 2, 2012 at 8:34 pm
(2) Eric says:

Kind of makes Hyundai and Kia seem more like “mere mortals” in the car world.

November 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm
(3) john says:

My 2012 Genesis achieved better than sticker on highway

November 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm
(4) Hawaiian Don says:

I was in the car biz when the new Elantra came out. I had people complaining about gas mileage right off the bat. The best highway MPG reported was 35. However, on the VW diesels, the sportwagens, Jettas and Golfs were getting reports of 50MPG nearly daily! At the Hyundai dealership the salesmen quickly learned not to hype the MPG rating.

November 4, 2012 at 11:22 am
(5) Peter Dejong says:

Well slowly the Koreans are growing up. Although they still feel that they are the center of the World and have invented everything (I have been there so many times) now they are facing the harsh world. eventually this will cost them customers. The compensation is not more than logical however they should be fined with a much heftier fine. This is not accepted in the modern internet era any more. Time you grow up Korea!

November 5, 2012 at 9:01 am
(6) Brian says:

You would think that Hyundai would have learned the first time. Back around 2003 or 4 they gave out some extended warranty and other compensation for the fact they overstated the horsepower ratings on the Elantra.

November 5, 2012 at 9:32 am
(7) UEW says:

Does not surprise me at all. With two different Soul model’s, never could achieve the mileage as stated. Always 4 less on highway. Having dealings with the Korean version of customer service, cars traded never to return.

November 5, 2012 at 10:22 am
(8) George in Ohio says:

Forget 40 mpg – one of the local Hyundai dealers has been advertising for the past year that the Elantra gets 42 mpg on the highway. Don’t know where they got this info, but it will be interesting to see their next newspaper ad and see what they say now.

My brother-in-law has an Elantra and really likes it, but he hasn’t cracked 40 mpg yet. Has seen 36+ on a trip, but that’s about it.

November 6, 2012 at 5:36 am
(9) David says:

Here in Manila , Philippines I bought a Rio 6 speed about 6 months ago. It does pretty good on the Mileage compared to my old Honda Civic Automatic. The fuel quality is a big problem here as this reduces the mileage numbers. If I use the better brands here it still isnt up to the levels of a diesel Rabbit I had years ago. The Volkswagon boys are coming back to the Philippines and I will be buying a Passit Diesel soon after they get in their first models. Ill let my driver use the Rio to take the kids to the schools they attend. . I estimate Im getting about 11 Km per liter in the city . Have yet to get out on a open road. If you can switch off the AC unit for maybe 40 % of the ride your going to see better mileage here but with the heat and humidity its hard to sweat through the air polution as well .

November 7, 2012 at 10:46 am
(10) hunter1968 says:

ok… i have a 2012 Kia Rio SX… on the highway its rated 40mpg.
doing approx 68-70 i get 45 mpg… now if i drive 75 it drops to 38-39 mpg.

honestly i have NO complaints on mpg.

November 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm
(11) Brandon says:

Yes, and my 2012 Fiesta shows 44mpg on the highway. That’s ESTIMATED. Ever did actual calculated mileage? I have. My Fiesta is driven 50% highway and 50% city and still gets about 39mpg. On the highway, at 55, the Fiesta makes about 45mpg. It also drives like a sports car. You really should think of upgrading. The new 2014 Fiesta ST does 0-60 in about 6.7 seconds with a turbocharged 1.6L engine, and gets 35mpg doing it.

Ford is light years ahead of Kia.

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