For the past few years, Hyundai and Kia have been selling high-mileage vehicles like hot cakes. Recently, however, the US Environmental Protection Agency compelled these South Korean carmakers to scale back the inflated mpg ratings on 900,000 vehicles in the 2011-13 model years. Hyundai and Kia have been trumpeting their vehicles as fuel efficient units, labelling them as 40-mpg vehicles in their marketing campaigns.
However, it turned out that all six Hyundai and Kia nameplates previously rated at 40 mpg now sit below that number. The South Korean carmakers made the scaled back mpg announcement following a probe by the EPA, which found inconsistencies between its test results and figures used by Hyundai and Kia.
According to Hyundai Motor America chief executive John Krafcik, the problem was a result of "procedural errors" in company tests. Hyundai and Kia will be enforcing revisions for the mpg figures of the concerned vehicles, and that will drop the combined fuel economy ratings by 1 to 2 mpg. Hyundai and Kia will be employing its dealers to pacify vehicle owners.
Under the carmakers’ proposed remedy, owners of affected vehicles are being asked to bring them to dealerships for odometer tests. Dealers will forward the readings to the concerned carmaker, which will then reimburse owners with debit cards for the extra gasoline they purchased.
The Associated Press reported that according to EPA, the inquiry would continue. The regulator, however, declined to comment on potential fines or a likely criminal investigation. In the conference call, Hyundai and Kia executives, including Krafcik, apologized and acknowledged the inaccuracies.