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.
“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.
“We are pleased to put this behind us, and gratified that even with our adjusted fuel economy ratings, Hyundai continues to lead the automotive industry in fuel efficiency and environmental performance.”
Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Mini have also been guilty of similar misstatements.
The companies will also forfeit $200 million in greenhouse gas emissions credits for an amount equal to the emissions from 433,000 homes for a year. The violations resulting from the incorrect figures on that number of vehicles amounted to 4.75 million metric tons of greenhouse gases.
The companies will also drop $50 million to prevent future violations.
(Mini latest to admit mislabeling mpg ratings. For more, Click Here.)
Ford was the first maker to get snagged by an audit of its mileage numbers and testing procedures, the biggest gap impacting models like its C-Max and Fusion hybrid models. Hyundai and sibling Kia were later caught up in a similar audit process. The Korean carmakers ultimately agreed to a significant payout to owners of the affected vehicles – such as the Kia Soul.
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Earlier this month, Mercedes-Benz was found to have overstated the mileage of its C300 4Matic sedan by one mile per gallon in the City, Highway and Combined categories.
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Mini’s recently updated 2014 Cooper and Cooper S models will now have to restate their mileage ratings, as well. The base 3-door with a manual transmission, for example, was originally rated at 30 City, 42 Highway and 34 Combined. That’s been revised to 29/40/33. The Cooper S 3-door with a manual sees its figures drop from 25/38/29 to just 24/34/28. Automatic transmission models lose one to three mpg.