The U.S. units of Hyundai Motor Co. and affiliate Kia Motors Corp. overstatedfuel economy numbers on the new-car window stickers on 35% of the vehicles they sold over the past two years, The Detroit News reports.
John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai America, tells the newspaper the company inadvertently misstated fuel efficiency estimates on about 900,000 cars from the 2011-2013 model years.
Hyundai has bragged that it had four models rated at 40 mpg by the Environmental Protection Agency. But the News says EPA has determined that three of those cars—the Accent, Elantra and Veloster— should be rated at 37-38 mpg.
Adjusting the data will reduce Hyundai-Kia’s fleet average fuel economy to 26 mpg from 27 mpg for the 2012 model year, according to Krafcik. He says the companies will knock 1 mpg off the estimates for about 580,000 vehicles, 2 mpg for 240,000 cars and 3-4 mpg for 80,000 units.
The companies plan to reimburse customers in the form of debit cards for the savings they would have realized if the mileage estimates for their cars had been more accurate.
EPA, which could levy fines against the companies, began investigating a discrepancy in Hyundai’s fuel economy estimates for the 2012 Elantra sedan early this year and later expanded its probe. Hyundai tells the News it changed a procedure that estimates tire rolling resistance, which accidentally inflated the highway fuel economy numbers.