Hyundai and Kia today announced that the companies are revising their fuel economy estimates downward after the EPA spot-checked several models and found that the results did not live up to Hyundai's and Kia's claims.
The affected Hyundai models include the 2012 and '13 Accent, Elantra, Sonata Hybrid, Azera, Tucson, and Veloster, and the 2012 Genesis sedan and 2013 Genesis coupe, and Santa Fe Sport. From Kia, this correction includes 2012 and '13 Rio, Sorento, Soul, and Sportage.
The fuel economy figures are off by an average of 3 percent, according to a press release issued by the two automakers. The biggest error came in highway mileage for the Kia Soul Eco, which is now down from 35 mpg to 29 mpg.
"I sincerely apologize to all affected Hyundai and Kia customers, and I regret these errors occurred," said W. C. Yang, chief technology officer of Hyundai/Kia research and development. "Following up on the EPA's audit results, we have taken immediate action to make the necessary rating changes and process corrections."
The errors were discovered in the EPA's lab tests, which measure car's fuel economy on a dynamometer (treadmill), and in a closed-track coast-down test. Incorrect procedures by Hyundai in the coast-down test lead to too little resistance on the dynamometer, and thus inflated fuel economy claims. EPA retested the cars based on complaints from consumers who said they did not get the advertised fuel economy. Many of the complaints centered around the Hyundai Elantra, which the company claimed in ads returned 40 mpg on the highway.
In Consumer Reports' own real-world fuel economy tests, we also found the Elantra could only muster 39 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg overall. That's unusual, given that many cars beat their EPA high rating. Our fuel economy ratings are independent and unaffected by the revisions.
We have found that the latest crop of Hyundais and Kias have been more competitive in our tests, but not necessarily class leaders.
Hyundai will issue customers debit cards, crediting them for the estimated additional fuel costs based on the actual miles drive, plus 15 percent.
|Make/model||Old EPA mpg||New EPA mpg|
|2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra||29||40||33||28||38||32|
|2011-2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid||35||40||37||34||39||36|
|2012-13 Hyundai Accent||30||40||33||28||37||31|
|2012-13 Hyundai Azera||20||29||23/24||20||29/29||23|
|2012-13 Hyundai Genesis 3.8||19||29||22||18||28||22|
|2012-13 Hyundai Genesis 4.8||17||26||20||16||25||19|
|2012-2013 Hyundai Tucson||21||28||23||20||27||23|
|2012 Hyundai Veloster (manual)||28||40||32||27||37||31|
|2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport||21||28||23||20||26||22|
|2013 Hyundai Veloster||28||40||32||27||37||31|
|2012-2013 Kia Optima Hybrid||35||40||37||34||39||36|
|2012-2013 Kia Rio||30||40||33/34||28/29||36/37||31/32|
|2012-2013 Kia Sorento||21||28||23||20||26||22|
|2012-2013 Kia Soul||26||34||29||23/24||28/29||25/26|
|2012-2013 Kia Sportage||21||26||23||20||25||22|
Reality check: Will your car actually achieve the advertised 40-mpg?
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