Hyundai settles fuel economy investigation for $41.2M

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. on Thursday said it will pay $41.2 million to 33 states and the District of Columbia in a settlement regarding a 2012 restatement of fuel economy ratings that affected about a quarter of its vehicle lineup.

The settlement contains no admission of wrongdoing or violation of any law. The money will go to settle the states’ consumer protection claims and to cover investigative costs.

Hyundai in November 2012 issued a voluntary adjustment of fuel economy ratings for roughly 25 percent of its 2011-13 model year vehicles that reduced their combined city/highway fuel economy by 1-2 miles per gallon. At the time, Hyundai provided a lifetime reimbursement program to compenstate affected customers. It was meant to cover the additional fuel costs associated with the change, plus a 15 percent premium.

Following a 2013 class action lawsuit, Hyundai offered a lump sum cash payment to customers who didn’t want to go to dealerships to get their mileage verified.

In total, more than 75 percent of eligible Hyundai customers have been or are being reimbursed.

In a statement Thursday, Hyundai North America President and CEO David Zuchowski praised the automaker’s vehicle lineup.

“Even with our adjusted ratings, we are encouraged that Hyundai continues to lead the automotive industry in fuel efficiency and environmental performance,” he said.

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