Hyundai, Kia Now Free To Move On From Mileage Issues
An agreement between Hyundai and it subsidiary Kia Motors and attorneys general from 33 states and the District of Columbia has finally shut down a three-year saga that ended up with the automakers paying nearly $800 million in fees and fines.
The $41.2 million settlement, announced on Friday, closes investigations that began in 2011 when the automakers started overstating their fuel-economy ratings. The agreement marks the end of a drama that became public in 2012 with the disclosure that Hyundai and Kia had overstated the mileage figures on 1.2 million vehicles by as much as two miles per gallon.
The agreement was designed to prevent further legal action. The $41.2 million agreement with the states settles “consumer protection claims to cover their investigative costs,” Hyundai said in a statement. The automaker admitted no wrongdoing or violations of the law.
The final agreement is relatively small compared to the huge fees and fines Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors paid in the wake of the overstatement disclosure four years ago. According to a story that appeared in Automotive News, Hyundai-Kia was paid $395 million to settle consumer lawsuits in 2013. A year later, the automakers agreed to a $350 settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Justice Department that closed the federal probe.
A total of 13 models – eight from Hyundai and five from Kia – showed inflated fuel economy figures for 2011-13. Hyundai put it down to “procedural errors” in its testing of vehicles that led to different fuel-economy numbers than the EPA cycle. Each automaker manages its testing program, reporting the figures to the EPA.