Hyundai And Kia Fuel Consumption Adjustment; Hybrid Models Affected

Hyundai and Kia are making adjustments to the official fuel consumption ratings of many of their 2011, 2012 and 2013 models.

As declared in a press release, following discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they are voluntarily adjusting the fuel economy ratings in the U.S. for approximately 900,000 units, or 35 percent of, 2011, 2012 and 2013 model year vehicles sold through Oct. 31, 2012.

On the Canadian side, approximately 172,000 units are affected, 130,000 for Hyundai Canada and 42,000 for Kia Canada.

No worldwide numbers have been revealed.

Hyundai and Kia declared jointly that the issue comes from procedural errors at the automakers’ joint testing operations in Korea; this led to “incorrect fuel economy ratings for select vehicle lines.”

Of course, the fuel economy ratings for vehicles currently in showrooms are being relabeled.

Following these changes, the 2012 Hyundai/Kia fleet fuel economy level is reduced in the U.S. by an average of 3 percent – from 27 to 26 mpg.

Kia Optima Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid are touched by this adjustment.

For both the Optima Hybrid and Sonata Hybrid, the erroneous fuel economy label read 35 city / 40 highway / 37 combined; revised ratings are 34/39/36 respectively. Essentially, one mpg less in any situation.

To obtain proper information on reimbursement, U.S. customers can visit www.HyundaiMPGinfo.com and www.KiaMPGinfo.com; Canadian customers can visit www.HyundaiFuelConsumption.ca and www.KiaFuelConsumption.ca. These websites will be operational by end of day today, with the reimbursement process being operational by Monday.

The reimbursement will take into account the distance covered, the length of time the vehicle has been owned, as well as the local price of gas; Steve Kelleher, President and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. added during a phone press conference that “there is a 15 percent amount added to compensate for the inconvenience.”

Both Kia and Hyundai said the compensation will be ongoing as long as vehicles touched by this process are in the hands of the original owner.

“Given the importance of fuel efficiency to all of us, we’re extremely sorry about these errors,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “When we say to Hyundai owners, ‘We’ve got your back,’ that’s an assurance we don’t take lightly. We’re going to make this right for everyone, and we’ll be more driven than ever to ensure our vehicles deliver outstanding fuel economy.”

“As a customer-focused organization, we are fully committed to providing consumers with complete and accurate information, and deeply regret the errors were made,” said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO, Kia Motors America and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia. “Our reimbursement program is intended to ensure that all affected Kia customers quickly receive fair compensation.”


  • Van

    Lets see, the Environmental Protection Agency cooked the books in favor of higher mileage and now the foreign auto companies must foot the bill.

    Can’t wait for the settlement with Nissan, since the Leaf’s range especially when pushed in hot weather appears to be way less than the 70 something EPA number.

    The C-max EPA 47 also seems a candidate for further review because many independent test are dropping the cooked books flag yet again.

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    @Van,

    EPA didn’t “cook” the books. EPA mileage are a combination from EPA’s testing combined with the data supplied by the auto makers. In this case, the data supplied by the Hyundai and Kia were “cooked”. When EPA did an audit, the data supplied by the Hyundai and Kia were greatly inflated.

    Generally, EPA sets the guideline for the testing parameter and auto makers does the test according to EPA requirement and send the final data to EPA for review and approval. But EPA only independently verify the data during audits.

    The way to “prevent” fraud is through the “fine” and “sanction” after the fraud is discovered…

  • Van

    The EPA has been caught red handed numerous times, cooking the books, inflating the numbers of the Hybrids and EV’s.

    Recall that early on, the EPA numbers were inflated by about 25% as documented by Consumer Reports. The EPA MPGe is yet another example of shameless fraud. Note how reports of “CAFE” standards are very high compared to the EPA adjusted numbers. They should be based on the same metrics.

  • Simon@syd

    Happened to Mercedes too. But not their hybrid model. I don’t think hybrids are more heavily effected.
    Really, it’s a pity the authority relies on the manufacturer at all.

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    @Van,

    Cite your source then, “The EPA has been caught red handed numerous times, cooking the books, inflating the numbers of the Hybrids and EV’s. “

    EPA numbers are a clearly set of rules. It might be optimistic relative to “real world” driving or doesn’t reflect real world condition (such as flat, no A/C, no wind resistance..etc), but it is still a real set of rules. That is different from “cheating” the rules set by the EPA.

    In fact, the European cycle are even more “aggressive” than the EPA testing.

    Many hybrids and EVs do match EPA’s numbers. Prius matches EPA’s number mostly. Volt match EPA’s estimated range, so does the Leaf.

    As far as MPGe goes, that is a “fair” estimate since it is hard to convert Electricity to Gasoline. But they aren’t the same thing. But EPA clearly states how the MPGe numbers comes alone. It uses 33.7KWh per gallon and calculate the amount of energy to charge the EV and then use the conversion factor then divide the miles out of the battery charges…

  • JohnElmore

    First off, kudos to Hyundai/Kia for stepping up and taking care of their customers. The MPG war is a balancing act cause if you claim a low mileage your loosing initial customers and you claim too high you loose long time customers. Most of the auto makers have fallen short of their claims but how you manage the outcome is far more important.

    As far as EPA ratings go, I dont think they could be more accurate. If you check any of the sites that calculate and list real case fuel mileage you find that the averages are really close to EPA numbers. They have given us a great standard to base our COMPARISONS of different automobiles and their efficiencies.

  • John James

    Let me start off by stating that I think the Kia Optima Hybrid (2012) is a beautiful car. I paid $32,000.00 for my Kia at Century Kia in Tampa Florida. My salesman was Jesus Perez and the General Sales Manager at this dealership is Mr. Hector Proenza.

    During the first month of driving my new Kia Optima Hybrid, my average miles per gallon did not appear to be more than a mile or two off per gallon off the estimated MPG displayed on the window sticker.

    However, as the first month went by, I noticed that the center console screen was displaying that I was averaging 40 MPG and up, however, the instant average miles per gallon (displayed on the dash display) stated I was receiving and average of 29 to 31 miles per gallon – huh?

    I began to keep a log as to how many gallons I was putting into the car by filling up the car (not over filling) and setting the Trip A meter to zero. I would then drive the car down (until nearly empty) and then fill the car up. I would then divide the number of gallons pumped into my car by the number of miles displayed on the Trip A meter.

    My average miles per gallon were totaling no more than 27.9 miles per gallon consistently.

    In fact, on every fill up (I currently have 7800 miles on the car) no gauge in the car has ever stated the correct gas mileage (MPG) since the car was purchased. The center console screen states one thing, the instant economy gauge states another and, the simple math division test basically (logically) states the CORRECT gas mileage, which is not off by a few miles per gallon but, by many.

    When I say MANY, I mean WAY too many.

    The sticker states 35 MPG on the highway and in the city I should be enjoying 40 MPG. The end result is that when I purchased this car, my salesman (and the General Manager) raved about the mileage, as I traded in my Prius, which delivered 48 MPG consistently.

    There was NEVER a time in my Prius when any of the MPG display gauges did NOT state the correct gas mileage.

    Let’s not forget that I came out of a Prius and KNOW how to milk a hybrid for every mile it can get and, quite frankly, I’m astounded at the TV commercial touting the 64.55 MPG from the two knuckleheads who went a across the United States. They claim that they drove 7,899 miles over two weeks in a Kia Optima Hybrid (with no special modifications) and claimed to achieve an ASTOUNDING 64.55 miles per gallon. Interesting that Guinness granted and verified this world record.

    CENTURY KIA PROUDLY DISPLAYS THE ARTICLE ABOUT THIS WORLD RECORD SETTING TRIP ON THE WALLS OF THEIR SALESMAN’S CUBICLES. THIS IS THE SAME ARTICLE I WAS SHOWN AT CENTURY KIA IN TAMPA, FLORIDA WHEN THEY WERE SELLING ME ON THIS CAR.

    Okay, one would think that a car that could get into the Guinness Book of World Records for achieving such a feat (64.55 miles per gallon, which has been verified) is believable, right? No, one would be WRONG!

    I don’t know what conditions this car achieved 64+ MPG and quite frankly, I certainly don’t believe a word of this nonsense, as I can’t get this car to break 30 MPG under any condition. I have driven without air, without the radio on, without the air conditioned seats running and, mastered the glide to red lights and slow start ups at green lights. I have coasted and rolled my way – not into the record books – but, back to the car dealership where they stated they have NO clue what’s wrong with this car. In fact, the best they could do was disconnect the battery in the trunk and let the computer reset itself. This did nothing but allow me the honor of installing my contact list back into the on board telephone book.

    I called Century Kia many times concerning the MPG problem and there was no help so, I called Kia Motors directly and they offered me help through a service called Tech Line. You get a case number and they use this number to ensure that you indeed get help through the dealership.

    I called Century Kia and their Service Manager did not offer any and in fact, he seemed perturbed that I got tech line involved in my case and told me that they would have my car for a number of days and, if tech line could not walk their service people through solving the problem with my car, they would then send a specialized mechanic in from their hybrid division. Here’s the rub. On the day I’m to bring the car into them, I asked for a loaner car and the service manager told me that would take days to get approved and he basically hung up the phone on me. Not nice, not professional.

    It turns out Kia wants me to pay for a rental car while they figure out why their car does NOT get the gas mileage they have stated on the sticker of the car. One would think that if you’re going to sell a car based on claiming a World Record and, repeatedly selling consumers on buying the car based upon the MPG, then it should be within a slight margin of error.

    In my case, the margin of error is six to ten miles per gallon (or more) and that’s NOT a slight error, that amounts to fraud – plain and simple.

    Let’s keep in mind, I purchased a Hybrid as I thought I would get near 38 MPG and could even milk it a bit more, however, the guys selling me on this car could have been related to Joe Isuzu telling me this car would go 300 miles per hour – downhill in hurricane – of course.

    What’s my solution? Well, Century Kia and Kia Motors, I’m coming to get ya into a court room. No, I’m not going to get involved in a class action so that I fill the pockets of class action attorneys, I’m going to file a lawsuit against you with an attorney out of Tampa and you’re going to pay for the lies, deception and fraud.

    Now, you have my Tech Line number and you’re welcome to call me and work this out by taking back your World Record Kia Optima Hybrid and giving me back my money or, we can duke this out in a court room and the court of public opinion.

    I (as many) work WAY too hard for my money and I will not be scammed, deceived and lied to. Yesterday (November 1st) Kia Tech Line called me to ask a whole bunch of questions about the MPG issue in my Hybrid (and that of my neighbor’s Hybrid) and today, well, you all landed yourselves in a Washington Post article that simply tells me you KNEW all along about this LIE.

    Don’t even think of offering the difference back in a gas card, as I bought this car for everything it was advertised to be and that includes the stated gas mileage. My story is on hybridupdate.com

  • Van

    @ MMF

    I cited the source, Consumer Reports, but feel free to google “EPA mileage inaccurate” and see what pops. As far as believing the overly optimistic results are not agenda driven, if you believe that, there is nothing I can say.

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  • Brad Scherer

    Ok so here is what I think and know. First and foremost consumers reports did say that the EPA estimates based on their own standard of tests was different on most cars then what is reported on the window stickers. They never once said that the EPA cooked the books and or lied about reported fuel milage. The EPA sets out a standard for all cars to be compared. The standard is rediculas as it doesn’t relfect the real word. The fact that some of you think that Hyundia and Kia are making it right by paying the customers a pitence to help quiet the swell of disapointment. The fact remains that they lied, they sent in fails numbers to the EPA (who doesn’t have the budget to check every vehicle) They did this to increase sales and get a recomended buy stamp from consumers reports. The fact is they stole buisness from other manufactures as customers believe that the numbers are a fair comparison. The EPA standard test is for another discusion. Should they use a different test, YES. This is not what is being discussed here. What we are looking at is a company that got billions in sales and is now paying out a few hundred million. Sounds to me like the accounts sat down and said if we inflate the numbers we will achieve X number of sales. Since most cars don’t hit the window numbers the people will most likely be stupid enough not to complain. And here is the kicker. Even if some complain, and even if the EPA finds out, the most that will happen is we will have to pay out some of our billions in profits to make it right. It was a win win situating for a company that had nowhere to go but up. All I can say in closing is thank God that the crash test are done by a third party and we don’t leave it up to the manufacturer. Last but not least, with all the problems in the econmy and everyone complaining about the richest people in America it is good to see that there are enough people out there still buying Korean profits. I love that people would rather the profits go to another Country then stay at home where the money can come back around the system.

  • Van

    “Despite federal certification, it appears that U.S. vehicle fleets, all cars and light trucks produced in one model year, don’t meet government fuel-economy standards. For example, fleet mpg for 2003-model-year vehicles we studied was overstated by 30 percent.”

    In summary a law was passed that said the fleet average had to be so and so. The EPA produced numbers that gained federal certification. But actual testing shows that the fleet does not meet the standards. If this is not CR saying the EPA cooked the books, then their is nothing more I can say. Now the CAFE standards still use the cooked books method, but the EPA adjusts the sticker mileage down to something more reasonable.

    However the pattern and practice is clear, the EPA reports exaggerated numbers to make high mileage cars looks better than they are, such as the MPGe methodology that any high school physics student would get an F for using.

  • John James

    Let me start off by stating that I think the Kia Optima Hybrid (2012) is a beautiful car. I paid $32,000.00 for my Kia at Century Kia in Tampa Florida. My salesman was Jesus Perez and the General Sales Manager at this dealership is Mr. Hector Proenza.

    During the first month of driving my new Kia Optima Hybrid, my average miles per gallon did not appear to be more than a mile or two off per gallon off the estimated MPG displayed on the window sticker.

    However, as the first month went by, I noticed that the center console screen was displaying that I was averaging 40 MPG and up, however, the instant average miles per gallon (displayed on the dash display) stated I was receiving and average of 29 to 31 miles per gallon – huh?

    I began to keep a log as to how many gallons I was putting into the car by filling up the car (not over filling) and setting the Trip A meter to zero. I would then drive the car down (until nearly empty) and then fill the car up. I would then divide the number of gallons pumped into my car by the number of miles displayed on the Trip A meter.

    My average miles per gallon were totaling no more than 27.9 miles per gallon consistently.

    In fact, on every fill up (I currently have 7800 miles on the car) no gauge in the car has ever stated the correct gas mileage (MPG) since the car was purchased. The center console screen states one thing, the instant economy gauge states another and, the simple math division test basically (logically) states the CORRECT gas mileage, which is not off by a few miles per gallon but, by many.

    When I say MANY, I mean WAY too many.

    The sticker states 35 MPG on the highway and in the city I should be enjoying 40 MPG. The end result is that when I purchased this car, my salesman (and the General Manager) raved about the mileage, as I traded in my Prius, which delivered 48 MPG consistently.

    There was NEVER a time in my Prius when any of the MPG display gauges did NOT state the correct gas mileage.

    Let’s not forget that I came out of a Prius and KNOW how to milk a hybrid for every mile it can get and, quite frankly, I’m astounded at the TV commercial touting the 64.55 MPG from the two knuckleheads who went a across the United States. They claim that they drove 7,899 miles over two weeks in a Kia Optima Hybrid (with no special modifications) and claimed to achieve an ASTOUNDING 64.55 miles per gallon. Interesting that Guinness granted and verified this world record.

    CENTURY KIA PROUDLY DISPLAYS THE ARTICLE ABOUT THIS WORLD RECORD SETTING TRIP ON THE WALLS OF THEIR SALESMAN’S CUBICLES. THIS IS THE SAME ARTICLE I WAS SHOWN AT CENTURY KIA IN TAMPA, FLORIDA WHEN THEY WERE SELLING ME ON THIS CAR.

    Okay, one would think that a car that could get into the Guinness Book of World Records for achieving such a feat (64.55 miles per gallon, which has been verified) is believable, right? No, one would be WRONG!

    I don’t know what conditions this car achieved 64+ MPG and quite frankly, I certainly don’t believe a word of this nonsense, as I can’t get this car to break 30 MPG under any condition. I have driven without air, without the radio on, without the air conditioned seats running and, mastered the glide to red lights and slow start ups at green lights. I have coasted and rolled my way – not into the record books – but, back to the car dealership where they stated they have NO clue what’s wrong with this car. In fact, the best they could do was disconnect the battery in the trunk and let the computer reset itself. This did nothing but allow me the honor of installing my contact list back into the on board telephone book.

    I called Century Kia many times concerning the MPG problem and there was no help so, I called Kia Motors directly and they offered me help through a service called Tech Line. You get a case number and they use this number to ensure that you indeed get help through the dealership.

    I called Century Kia and their Service Manager did not offer any and in fact, he seemed perturbed that I got tech line involved in my case and told me that they would have my car for a number of days and, if tech line could not walk their service people through solving the problem with my car, they would then send a specialized mechanic in from their hybrid division. Here’s the rub. On the day I’m to bring the car into them, I asked for a loaner car and the service manager told me that would take days to get approved and he basically hung up the phone on me. Not nice, not professional.

    It turns out Kia wants me to pay for a rental car while they figure out why their car does NOT get the gas mileage they have stated on the sticker of the car. One would think that if you’re going to sell a car based on claiming a World Record and, repeatedly selling consumers on buying the car based upon the MPG, then it should be within a slight margin of error.

    In my case, the margin of error is six to ten miles per gallon (or more) and that’s NOT a slight error, that amounts to fraud – plain and simple.

    Let’s keep in mind, I purchased a Hybrid as I thought I would get near 38 MPG and could even milk it a bit more, however, the guys selling me on this car could have been related to Joe Isuzu telling me this car would go 300 miles per hour – downhill in hurricane – of course.

    What’s my solution? Well, Century Kia and Kia Motors, I’m coming to get ya into a court room. No, I’m not going to get involved in a class action so that I fill the pockets of class action attorneys, I’m going to file a lawsuit against you with an attorney out of Tampa and you’re going to pay for the lies, deception and fraud.

    Now, you have my Tech Line number and you’re welcome to call me and work this out by taking back your World Record Kia Optima Hybrid and giving me back my money or, we can duke this out in a court room and the court of public opinion.

    I (as many) work WAY too hard for my money and I will not be scammed, deceived and lied to. Yesterday (November 1st) Kia Tech Line called me to ask a whole bunch of questions about the MPG issue in my Hybrid (and that of my neighbor’s Hybrid) and today, well, you all landed yourselves in a Washington Post article that simply tells me you KNEW all along about this LIE.

    Don’t even think of offering the difference back in a gas card, as I bought this car for everything it was advertised to be and that includes the stated gas mileage. My story can be reviewed at hybridupdate.com

  • raymond

    wat cars from kia are we talking about? i bought a rondo and now hear nothing about it .
    i have had issues and want to know if my car is involved.