Canada’s Competition Bureau Secures Consent Agreements with Hyundai and Kia

Hyundai’s and Kia’s issues with overstated Canadian fuel consumption rating had caused many consumers to turn to the country’s Competition Bureau.

Both companies had come forward in November of 2012 revealing they were making adjustments to the official fuel consumption ratings of many of their 2011, 2012 and 2013 models.

Following this, The Competition Bureau has reached consent agreements with Canadian automobile distributors Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. (Hyundai) and Kia Canada Inc. (Kia) that formalize the steps they have taken to respond to inaccurate fuel consumption ratings found in advertisements for a number of their automobiles.

The fuel consumption ratings were based on testing conducted at joint testing facilities in Korea.

The Competition Bureau said consent agreements will ensure that affected customers receive full restitution. In particular, the agreements require that Hyundai and Kia:

  • compensate affected customers for the cost associated with the difference between the affected vehicle’s advertised and corrected fuel consumption ratings for the entire time the vehicle is or was owned;
  • add an additional 15 percent to affected customers’ compensation entitlement as an acknowledgement of the inconvenience caused to affected consumers; and
  • issue the compensation in the form of personalized prepaid credit cards that will be issued each time an affected consumer makes a request, for as long as an affected customer owns an affected vehicle.

“We are pleased that both companies are working to resolve this issue by reaching out to compensate affected consumers,” said John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition. “These agreements will ensure that consumers are further protected by legally binding agreements.”

Under Canada’s Competition Act, businesses are prohibited from making materially false or misleading representations for the purpose of promoting products or business interests. Additionally, all performance claims made to Canadians for the purpose of promoting products or business interests must be based on adequate and proper testing, regardless of where the testing is conducted.

Hyundai and Kia have been working together to inform customers of the inaccurate fuel consumption ratings and have jointly developed a restitution program.

Both companies said approximately 172 000 affected vehicles were sold in Canada (130 000 by Hyundai and 42 000 by Kia).

Copies of the consent agreements will be posted shortly on the Competition Tribunal website.

Further information regarding Hyundai’s and Kia’s Restitution Programs can be found at www.hyundaifuelconsumption.ca and www.kiafuelconsumption.ca.