First came Hyundai's and Kia's corporate admission of guilt about overstating fuel economy numbers, then the recompense, then the lawsuits. Now begins the process of gnawing on every one of the consequences. In case you've only just returned from the International Space Station, Hyundai and Kia have admitted that about a third of the cars they have sold over the past three years have advertised inflated EPA fuel mileage numbers. For instance, the highway mpg number for the 2013 Hyundai Accent isn't 40 mpg anymore, it's either 37 or 38 miles per gallon. The combined mpg for the Kia Soul can take a four mpg hit depending on the trim level.

A piece in USA Today questions how the revelation will affect resale values for the Korean automakers, and the majority of opinions seems to be "not much." An analyst at Kelley Blue Book suggests there could be a short-term penalty, but that the impact might be mostly emotional, and industry watchers at the Institute for Crisis Management and ALG believe that Americans move on pretty quickly and the "absolute dollar" impact will be minimal.

When Consumer Reports compared advertised highway mileage to actual mileage it received, it found discrepancies from 11 mpg more (for the Volkswagen Passat TDI) to one mpg less (for the Hyundai Elantra, coincidentally), and Hyundai and Kia each had three vehicles that were spot on, including the Sonata Hybrid that achieved the company's advertised 40 mpg. Paradoxically, as consumers focus even more on EPA ratings and the government agency's testing protocols have been revised in an attempt to improve accuracy, people seem to be putting even more stock in the phrase "your mileage may vary." So too might your resale values, but it probably won't be because of this latest boondoggle.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      People tend to have short memories.
      Willie
      • 2 Years Ago
      yes because a lot of car buyers research cars on the internet and this will be the first thing on the google search.now the biggest reason to by these cars is its gas mileage i wouldn't say its going to make it worthless but i'm sure it will shed a few hundred bucks bucks off since it increases ownership cost.
      Bernard
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe the EPA should give out the MPG ratings so manufacturer's don't have to worry about getting it wrong. The manufacturer's could pay for the EPA testing.
      luigi.tony
      • 2 Years Ago
      KIA's did not have any resale value before all these lies.
        S40Powered
        • 2 Years Ago
        @luigi.tony
        Fantastic response. They've got caught and they continue lying. Cheap in all levels.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Scooter
      • 2 Years Ago
      As long as your car doesn't bear the name "Chrysler" your resale should be okay if not decent.
        dohc73
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scooter
        Puh leez, Hyundai/Kia is like buying second-hand fresh off the assembly line. Along with the US's lower expectations of a bright future in past four years came the success of Hyundai/Kia. Not a great time to make your mark I'd say.
      PeterScott
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am happy Hyundai got slapped over this, because it will keep them and other manufactures in line. But I still like their cars and we are talking small amounts like 2 MPG which is kind of irrelevant in the scheme of things. So I don't see it impacting resale.
        superchan7
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PeterScott
        I think this is the socially correct viewpoint. Although the cars get good fuel economy by any standard, exaggerating performance is unacceptable and is considered false advertising. Any automaker who does this, regardless of origin, must be punished to deter others from doing the same. Resale is unrelated, and probably won't suffer much. People looking for these kinds of cars in the used market should not expect hybrid/diesel levels of fuel economy anyway.
        RoyEMunson
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PeterScott
        Not irrelevant enough for Hyundai to not push an entire ad campaign based on that 2 mpg advantage. (*)
      plarson79
      • 2 Years Ago
      I go to auto auctions every week. The auto industry still does not believe in Hyundai/Kia as their vaues typically are lower than similar Honda's, Toyota's, Nissan's and Mazda's.
      bonzo99911
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why do auto journalists try to cover up for Hyundai/Kia? I have noticed this trend since 2009 or so. I get that they make better products now than they did before, but they have a clear and consistent bias that is obvious to anyone with objective mind. Do they get paid or something. I know that Hyundai, being a construction company in the beginning, is very good at lobbying.
      Brody
      • 2 Years Ago
      I’ve comment on other post, but I am really concerned that Ford cooked its fuel economy books on its C-Max. The C-max is ~600 lb heavier and its aerodynamic drag area is much greater than the Prius, but Ford boasts a 47/47 MPG rating. I think Newton is turning over in his grave because by F=Ma, the C-max will require ~20% more power to accelerate and unknown amount more (not hard to calculate if you have the data) to cruise on the highway. Edmonds and consumers on fueleconomy.gov confirm this. Edmonds put a lot of miles on the C-Max and only got 35 MPG (Mid 30’s). Edmonds did test the Prius V and only got ~2 MPG lower than its rating. Consumers on fueleconomy.gov only got 39 MPG. The sample size is a little low right now, as some people have mentioned, but its not looking good based on the physics of ground vehicles. Good luck Ford.
        danwat1234
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brody
        I agree. Users on Fuelly are only getting about 41MPG right now, far from 47MPG. in fact not as good as the Prius V. I doubt it will get much better after the engines are broken in, but I'm sure the average will increase somewhat in the coming months
        danwat1234
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brody
        But keep in mind that the plug-in hybrid (Energi) may be listed in the same list as the regular hybrid C-max on Fuelly, so then you'll have to average out the hybrid users' MPG manually, otherwise the numbers will be inflated.
          Brody
          • 2 Years Ago
          @danwat1234
          Oh, yes, if the C-max (regular) and the C-max Energi are not listed separably the numbers can get through off because its simple for The Energi to get 100 MPG-- not taking into account the electrical energy that it is filling up with by plugging in.
      HUMANMPC2000
      • 2 Years Ago
      I doubt it,because some people are sheep,leave the gate open and they will stay put.
      sinistro79
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yes, it's in bad taste to lie about the mpg figures but these cars have also been getting quite a good reputation for reliability lately. I think they will recover from something like this because a lot of people in this segment are beginning to cars with more of a presence than what they typically get with the likes of Toyota. I think the American cars are the ones that need to take note of something like this more than anyone. They don't necessarily rely on great mpgs to sell cars but they are also don't have much of presence in the aesthetics department either. A blow like this for Chrysler, Ford, or GM would be much more devastating in this regard than it is for companies like Kia and Hyundai.
    • Load More Comments