Hyundai facing a lawsuit for misleading consumers with 40 MPG Elantra ads

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 11, 2012

Hyundai Motor Co. is facing a lawsuit for supposedly misleading consumers and claiming that the 2011 and 2012 Elantra model is more fuel efficient than it really is. Public interest group Consumer Watchdog sued Hyundai for the claims it made in its TV ads about “the 40 mile per gallon Elantra.” The group said that this figure refers to just the highway mileage and not the city or combined highway/city mileage.

It asserted that Hyundai had displayed the estimated city mileage at 29 miles per gallon but it in “tiny, faint text” and it was shown very briefly so viewers won’t be able to see it if they don’t freeze their screens. The complaint also stated that there was no information about the model’s fuel efficiency in magazine ads or they would be unreadable.

Louis Bird, the plaintiff, a resident of Sacramento, Calif., said that Hyundai’s ads had convinced him to buy his 2011 Elantra. And now, he is paying more than he had expected to refuel. He is hoping that this lawsuit would be granted class-action status. He filed unspecified damages for supposed violations of California consumer protection and fraud laws. He filed the complaint in a California state court in Sacramento on July 3.

In a statement, Hyundai North America cited government tests and three popular magazines that suggest that the fuel economy rating that they advertised is realistic. Hyundai didn’t talk about claims in the complaint about making fuller disclosures in its ads.

Last May 9, a state judge in Los Angeles handed down a ruling that favored Honda Motor Co. The court reversed a $9,867 award to a Civic hybrid owner who blamed Honda for fraudulently overstating its fuel economy figure in its ads. The five-seat Elantra is famous for its sleek styling. From January to June, 97,769 Elantras were sold, making it the No. 19 top-selling vehicle in the U.S.

The Hyundai Elantra has been equipped with a series of new features including coil springs and gas shock absorbers, a McPherson strut front suspension system. Furthermore, the rear suspension system now comes with monotube shock absorbers, enhanced steering stability and a light-weight coupled torsion beam. Finally the front stabilizer bar has been increased to 23mm to aid cornering.

Power steering comes as standard in all new Elantras and it can be changed according to the driver’s preferences and terrain to conserve fuel. The quick-ratio steering rack the Elantra has installed is the reason why its turning circle is a foot better than the Corolla.

Hyundai's world-class engineers set out to beat the competition in terms of weight efficiency and they were able to achieve this. In doing so, they have improved performance and enhanced the fuel economy of the Elantra far and above its competitors.

The increase in the use of high-strength steel in the Hyundai Elantra has led to a much stiffer body and a lower weight by nearly 40% and this technique means the suspension is a lot more reactive.

The Elantra GLS is lighter than the competition at 2,701lb and it comes with an automatic transmission. The interior is also roomier than other models such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Cruze and the Ford Focus and is much more rigid than the Toyota.

Due to the changes made by the inclusion of high-strength steel to aid in weight efficiency, the Hyundai Elantra should be capable of doing 40 mpg according to the EPA highway rating. This is available without a eco model.


The Hyundai's expertise extends inside this modern interior. Bringing leading-edge design, craftsmanship, lighting and packaging to the Elantra, the instrument panel has been sharpened and the telescopic steering wheel has been tilted

Aside from weight efficiency, fuel economy and concern for the environment were next on the agenda with heated seats in the front and rear, lighter, environmental foam, the Hyundai also comes with a selection of storage areas and delivers excellent storage space.

The interior of the GLS is available in grey and beige with a monotone black trim. Finally fibrous tissue and volcanic rock are used to give the Elantra its distinct look.

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