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Hyundai, Kia Agree to $100 Million Fine

Companies paying up after issuing false mileage ratings.

by on Nov.03, 2014

Hyundai incorrectly stated the mileage on the 2013 Santa Fe and several other models and is now paying a $100 million fine.

Just a few months after paying a record-setting amount for its headquarters in South Korea, Hyundai and its sister company, Kia, have set a new record in the United States. They agreed to pay a $100-million fine for providing false mileage rating on 1.2 million vehicles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department.

In the case of Hyundai and Kia overstated estimates by one to six miles per gallon on several 2012 and 2013 Hyundai and Kia models, including Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Veloster and Santa Fe vehicles and Kia Rio and Soul vehicles.

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“Hyundai has acted transparently, reimbursed affected customers and fully cooperated with the EPA throughout the course of its investigation,” said David Zuchowski, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, in a statement. (more…)

U.S. Fuel Economy Sets Record for 2013

Electrics, hybrids help push toward new high-water mark.

by on Jan.09, 2014

U.S. fuel economy is higher than ever, in part, because of increasing sales of hybrids and electric vehicles.

Despite plunging fuel prices that helped drive a sharp increase in sales of pickup trucks and utility vehicles last year, the fuel economy of the typical new vehicle sold in the U.S. hit an all-time record in 2013.

The average window sticker of new vehicles sold in the U.S. in December was 24.8 mpg – down 0.2 mpg from the revised value in November, but up 4.7 mpg from the value in October 2007, the first month of monitoring by the University of Michigan Transportation Institute.

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The average fuel economy of all vehicles sold during the 2013 calendar year was 24.8 miles per gallon, which was up 1 mile per gallon from the average fuel economy posted for 2012 and 3.9 mpg from 2008, according to the U-M survey. For the 2013 model year, which ended October 1, U-M reports the fuel economy rating for all vehicles is 24.7 mpg, which is the highest level ever. (more…)

New Vehicle Fuel Economy Reaches All-Time High

Improved mileage on all vehicles pushes numbers to new record.

by on Sep.13, 2013

Fuel economy is at an all-time high partially due to the fact that full-size trucks and SUVs are getting better gas mileage than ever.

With retail sales of new vehicles by traditional fuel economy leaders, such as Toyota and Honda, on the upswing, the fuel-economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. reached an all-time high in August, a new report from the University of Michigan Transportation Institute (UMTRI) indicates.

Average fuel economy (window-sticker values) of cars, light trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles purchased in August was 24.9 mpg – up 0.1 mpg from July, according to UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle.

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Overall, gas mileage is up 4.8 mpg since October 2007 when UMTRI began keeping track of fuel-economy numbers. (more…)

Feds to Stigmatize Gas Guzzlers with a D Grade?

New label might result in sticker shock - for makers.

by on Aug.30, 2010

1. This vehicle can travel about 26 miles on a gallon of gas for combined city and highway driving. 2. This vehicle uses 3.8 gallons of gasoline to travel 100 miles for combined city and highway driving. This is an energy efficiency rate called fuel consumption. Fuel consumption values, unlike MPG, relate directly to the amount of fuel used. 3. This bar depicts the range of combined city and highway fuel economy for all labeled vehicles. The pointer shows where this vehicle is within the range of all vehicles and other vehicles in the same class as the labeled vehicle. 4. will continue to provide consumers with a source of in-depth information. The website allows consumers to personalize estimates based on their own driving habits (i.e. annual miles traveled, local fuel cost, etc.). 5. This vehicle can travel about 22 miles on a gallon of gas for city driving. 6. This vehicle can travel about 32 miles on a gallon of gas for highway driving. 7. $1,617 is the estimated annual fuel cost based on a given number of miles and fuel price, which are listed lower on the label (15,000 miles per year and $2.80 per gallon for this example). 8. This bar depicts the range of the combined city and highway carbon dioxide (CO2) tailpipe emission rate for all labeled vehicles. The pointer shows where this vehicle is within the range. 9. This bar depicts the emission rating for vehicle tailpipe emissions that contribute to local and regional air pollution, creating problems such as haze and smog. The pointer shows where this vehicle is within the range. 10. A QR Code can be used by many Smartphones to access a web page, allowing consumers at a dealership to compare vehicles and personalize estimates, based on their own driving habits and fuel costs.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are jointly proposing the most radical changes to the fuel economy labels on the window of every new vehicle in dealer showrooms since the regulation began 30 years ago.

The stated goal of the new labels is to provide consumers with “simple, straightforward energy and environmental comparisons” across all types of vehicles, including electric vehicles (EV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), and conventional gasoline-powered vehicles.

DOT and EPA said in a joint release this afternoon that they are looking to provide enhanced information on efficiency and environmental performance, including information about air pollutants, such as smog, that impact public health to consumers.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 passed under Republican President Bush specifically calls on EPA and DOT to rate available vehicles according to fuel economy, greenhouse gas emissions and smog forming pollutants.

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“New technologies such as battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are entering the American market in greater numbers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We need to provide consumers with labels that include fuel economy and environmental information so that buyers can make better informed decisions when purchasing new vehicles.”