Settlement Reached In Hyundai Fuel Efficiency Lawsuit


A settlement has been reached in over 38 class-action lawsuits over Hyundai fuel efficiency claims affecting 600,000 vehicles sold in the US. The dollar amounts involved in the settlement have not been revealed, but owners of affected vehicles will be offered a lump-sum payment option or they can continue with the debit card reimbursement plan announced back in November.

In November, Hyundai and Kia acknowledged that they had overstated fuel efficiency claims on some 1.1 million vehicles sold in North America since 2010, about 900,000 of which were sold in the US. They then withdrew claims that the Elantra, Accent, Veloster and Sonata Hybrid were capable of achieving 40mpg.

The adjustments to stated fuel efficiency bring the 2012 Hyundai/Kia fleet’s overall fuel efficiency down from 27mpg to 26mpg. Individually, vehicle fuel efficiency drops anywhere from 1 to 6 mpg with most vehicles seeing a combined city/highway drop of just 1 mpg.

As compensation to customers, they offered a debit card that would cover the estimated additional fuel cost between the stated fuel efficiency and what the cars actually attained. In total, the companies set aside a whopping $400 million for the reimbursement plan.

The announced Hyundai fuel efficiency settlement will give owners a second option rather than continuing with the debit card program already in place. The automaker will be giving owners a lump-sum payment with owners whose vehicles were a part of the “4 for 40” marketing campaign receiving a larger payment than other affected vehicles. Those who are not original purchasers of their vehicle will also get a payment, but about half of what original owners will receive.

Additionally, owners affected by the Hyundai fuel efficiency settlement can choose to instead receive a dealer service credit worth 150 percent of the lump sum payment or a new car rebate voucher worth 200 percent of the lump sum payment. Dealers will be notifying owners of all their options regarding the Hyundai fuel efficiency settlement by handing out fliers detailing the information when they come in for service visits.

Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. When not drooling over cars, Nicole writes for Wired’s GeekMom.