Optimistic fuel economy claims on window stickers used to be the norm, according to our analysis. But automakers are increasingly getting their hands slapped for doing this and measures are in place to help prevent it in the future.
Today, the EPA announced $300 million in fines against Hyundai Motor Company for exaggerating fuel economy claims in 12 Hyundai and Kia models from 2011 to 2013. (The affected Hyundai models include the 2012 and 2013 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 2013 Rio, Sorento, Soul, and Sportage.)
Hyundai had attributed the problem to incorrect test procedures and has issued an apology, as well as a credit toward gas purchases, to consumers who bought the cars.
Automakers receive credits for exceeding fuel economy targets, and Hyundai will forfeit more than $200 million worth of such credits. In addition, the company will pay $50 million to help set up an independent fuel-economy certification program to help ensure other automakers don’t similarly inflate mpg numbers. And it will pay a $100 million fine.
We think this settlement should go a long way toward ensuring that consumers get more accurate fuel economy estimates.
Learn how we test cars, and see our fuel economy test findings on the car model pages.
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