Hyundai and Kia will pay up to almost $400 million as part of the settlement agreement over consumer lawsuits alleging that they overstated fuel economy ratings on some 900,000 vehicles sold in the United States. Hyundai Motor America's proposed settlement is around $210 million, while Kia Motors America is about $185 million, according to statements issued by the carmaker – all subject to court review that is expected in early 2014.
The South Korean carmakers faced dozens of class-action lawsuits after they disclosed in November 2012 that they had sold around 600,000 Hyundai and 300,000 Kia vehicles in the US with overstated fuel economy ratings. Officials from the carmakers apologized for the overstated mileage ratings, blaming flawed internal testing procedures for the errors.
The mpg revisions covered eight Hyundai and five Kia nameplates from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 model years like the Hyundai Elantra and Kia Soul. Most of the vehicles had their combined mpg ratings drop by 1 or 2 mpg. Some 53 of such suits were consolidated into a single case in federal court in Los Angeles, according to the statements.
The total settlement equates into an average lump sum payment of about $353 to owners and lessees of the 600,000 Hyundai vehicles, and $667 to 300,000 owners of affected Kia vehicles. "Kia Motors is a responsible company, and the proposed settlement enhances our goal of making things right for our customers by providing new reimbursement options," John Yoon, attorney for Kia Motors America, said in a statement.