In 2012, Hyundai and Kia were found to have been overstating fuel economy on over a million model year 2011-2013 vehicles by between one and four MPG combined. After many lawsuits and hundreds of millions in fines, the Korean automakers are finally putting this issue to rest. Again, expensively.
Today, Hyundai and Kia have reached an agreement with 33 states and Washington D.C. to resolve the states’ consumer protection lawsuits and to cover their investigative costs.
This is all on top of Kia’s reimbursement to owners for the difference between revised and previously-advertised fuel economy ratings (plus 15 percent for the inconvenience), the $350 settlement with the EPA and the Department of Justice, and the $395 million put away for a class action settlement for owners of affected vehicles.
Hyundai, in a press release, says this agreement—which did not require Hyundai or Kia to admit to any wrongdoing or violation of any laws— is the final step to put this issue to bed:
With the multistate agreement in place, Hyundai has now fully remedied the 2012 restatement of its fuel economy ratings, paying a civil penalty to the federal government in 2014 and settling a related class action lawsuit in 2013, which last year was approved by the Court and remains subject to an ongoing appeal.
Hyundai and Kia’s agreement included Washington D.C. and the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
After four years, it’s safe to say this scandal—which Hyundai and Kia said was caused by improper engineering processes—has been dragging on long enough, and I’m sure the two companies are ready to put it in the rearview. It may not be as well-remembered as some of the more recent fiascos, but it was an expensive one for this pair of automakers.