LOS ANGELES — Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., whose growth has been aided by 40-mile-per-gallon claims, will compensate U.S. customers for overstating the fuel efficiency of their latest models.
The Seoul-based affiliates, which share engines, model platforms and a chairman, must re-label the window stickers on their cars and trucks for the error, the Environmental Protection Agency said Friday.
The automakers plan to issue debit cards to buyers of about 900,000 vehicles sold in the United States in the past two years to reimburse them for higher-than-expected fuel expenses, the companies said Friday in a joint statement.
The companies said the overstatement resulted from “procedural errors” at its testing facility in South Korea. Combined U.S. sales of Hyundai and Kia vehicles this year through October reached a record 1.07 million cars and trucks, placing them sixth in the U.S. this year, ahead of Nissan. Led by its Elantra compact, Hyundai boasted in its advertising of having more cars offering 40 miles per gallon in highway driving than competitors. With Friday’s revisions, no Hyundai or Kia model reaches 40 mpg. Consumer Watchdog, an advocacy group based in Santa Monica, Calif., filed a lawsuit in July claiming Hyundai overstated mileage for 2011 and 2012 Elantras. The Kia Soul will face the largest adjustment, down 6 miles per gallon in its highway rating.
Most 2012 and 2013 models from the automakers will be adjusted by 1 or 2 miles per gallon, the agency said Friday in a statement. For information on the program, owners can go to www.hyundaimpginfo.com or www.kiampginfo.com.