Hyundai and Kia’s Canadian operations are seeking to make good on the promised fuel costs for its vehicles, even as a lawsuit is developing to seek damages for unsupported fuel mileage claims.
Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. and Kia Canada Inc. announced that they are correcting the fuel consumption ratings for approximately 172,000 vehicles sold between 2010 and 2012.
The affected vehicles for Hyundai are the 2010 to 2013 Elantra, Sonata Hybrid, Accent, Genesis, Tucson, Veloster, Elantra Coupe, Elantra GT and Santa Fe. For Kia, the affected vehicles are the 2010 to 2013 Rio, Sportage, Soul, Soul ECO, and Optima HEV.
Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. and Kia Canada Inc. have admitted that some of their vehicles aren't as fuel efficient as they advertised. They are blaming an error at the companies' testing facility in Korea.
Procedural errors at the automakers' joint testing operations in Korea led to incorrect fuel consumption ratings for select vehicle lines. As a result of the corrections, Hyundai/Kia average combined fleet fuel consumption ratings are increased for the 2013 model year by 0.3 litres per 100 kilometres, says the company.
"I sincerely apologize to all affected Hyundai and Kia customers, and I regret these errors occurred," said Dr. W. C. Yang, chief technology officer of Hyundai/Kia research and development. "Following up on the EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency) audit results, we have taken immediate action to make the necessary rating changes and process corrections." The U.S. EPA certification is accepted by Environment Canada for auto imports into Canada.
Both companies are putting in place a comprehensive reimbursement program for affected current and former vehicle owners to cover the additional fuel costs associated with the fuel consumption rating change.
Customers will receive a personalized, pre-paid credit card that will reimburse them for their difference in the combined fuel consumption rating, based on the average fuel price in their region and their own actual kilometres driven. In addition, as an acknowledgement of the inconvenience this may cause, we will add an extra 15 percent to the reimbursement amount.
Current owners will be able to refill their pre-paid credit card at any time for as long as they own the vehicle.
Prior owners of affected vehicles who have already sold their cars will also be reimbursed using the same formula. For more information about reimbursement and a complete list of eligible vehicles, customers can visit www.hyundaifuelconsumption.ca and www.kiafuelconsumption.ca.
This move was announced as a class action lawsuit against Hyundai has been filed by law firm Siskinds LLP.
"Hyundai and Kia spent a lot of time and money selling Canadians a very compelling story, capitalizing on public concern over rising fuel costs and the environment. Unfortunately, that story was fiction," said Matthew Baer, a lawyer with Siskinds LLP.
"We have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of these owners because we feel Hyundai and Kia should be obligated to tell the truth. They need to explain to Canadians what the real numbers are, and how long they've been aware of those real numbers. How long have Canadians been lied to?"