Looking to buy a fuel efficient vehicle? Be wary of trusting some automakers’ labeling.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Friday, November 2, 2012 that as a result of an investigation following numerous consumer complaints, Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America will lower their fuel economy estimates for most of their year 2012 and 2013 models. The EPA found discrepancies upon testing between EPA results and the miles per gallon data submitted by the companies.
Hyundai and Kia pride themselves on the production of fuel efficient vehicles and their push into the hybrid and hydrogen vehicle technologies. But the EPA has found 10 out of 14 of Hyundai’s models have incorrect mpg labeling, and six of Kia’s 18 models will need to be relabeled. The largest adjustment will be six mpg for highway travel for the Kia Soul.
“Consumers rely on the window sticker to help make informed choices about the cars they buy,’ said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “EPA’s investigation will help protect consumers and ensure a level playing field among automakers.”
The Hyundai and Kia mpg numbers will also be corrected on the EPA and Department of Energy joint fuel economy site at www.fueleconomy.gov. This site is the official U.S. government source for fuel economy information, providing information for car buyers, tips for saving fuel, information on tax incentives and more.
Hyundai has initiated a voluntary program to reimburse owners of any of the affected models: Elantra, Elantra Coupe, Elantra GT, Sonata Hybrid, Accent, Azera, Genesis, Tucson, Veloster and Santa Fe Sport. Kia has a similar voluntary program for owners of its affected models: Rio, Sportage, Sorento, Soul, Soul ECO and Optima HEV. Both sites provide a reimbursement estimator.
The EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality regulates air pollution from motor vehicles, engines, and the fuels used to operate them. The National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory provides OTAQ with emissions testing services, routinely testing 150 to 200 vehicles per year to ensure that performance matches mileage and emissions data.