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Hyundai Accent

Hyundai and Kia adjusted EPA Fuel Economy EstimatesHyundai and Kia are lowering the fuel economy estimates on a majority of 2012 and 2013 models. The Detroit News reports a probe by the Environmental Protection Agency has found both manufacturers guilty of posting false fuel economy estimates on vehicle window stickers since late 2010. The companies will spend millions of dollars compensating the owners of some 900,000 vehicles sold under the claims. This marks the largest spate of fuel economy reductions in the history of the automotive industry. Prior to this probe, only two vehicles have seen their window sticker fuel economy values reduced since 2000.

Hyundai aggressively advertised the fact that the brand offers four models that boast 40 mpg, but that claim is no longer true. The 2013 Hyundai Accent, Veloster and Elantra will now see their EPA estimates fall to either 37 or 38 miles per gallon on the highway. The report quotes Hyundai CEO John Krafcik as saying, “We’re extremely sorry about these errors” and blamed “procedural errors” in the company’s fuel economy testing as the reason behind the discrepancy.

All told, 35 percent of 2011-2013 models sold through October will see a reduction. Of those, 580,000 will see a drop of around 1 mpg, while 240,000 units will have their EPA figures cut by 2 mpg. The remaining 80,000 will drop by 3 to 4 mpg. Owners will be compensated based on their vehicles’ odometer readings, and both automakers will contribute an additional 15 percent over the dollar value. The funds will be awarded via prepaid debit cards. For an owner who drove 15,000 miles, an adjustment of 1 mpg would result in a refund of around $88.

For some time there has been suspicion that the Korean automakers’ fuel economy claims were too optimistic, which most recently led to a class-action lawsuit filed in July of this year by an organization called Consumer Watchdog on behalf of Elantra owner Louis Bird of California.

The EPA and Hyundai have issued press releases on the new situation, which you can read below. You may also view the full model breakdown in the gallery below.

UPDATE: On a media conference call, Hyundai and Kia attributed the discrepancies to “honest mistakes” and “human error” during in-house fuel economy evaluations. Additional steps were added to the evaluation process in an attempt to ensure accuracy, which ultimately caused the higher-than-EPA figures. Both companies stress there was no intentional effort made to deceive either the federal government or consumers. There’s no indication as to how much the apology campaign will cost, though Hyundai and Kia both plan to roll out extensive advertising campaigns to alert consumers of the issue.

Continue reading Hyundai, Kia admit exaggerated mileage claims, will compensate owners [UPDATE]

Hyundai, Kia admit exaggerated mileage claims, will compensate owners [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 02 Nov 2012 09:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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