One man's loss is another man's gain. The same notion can be applied to the automotive marketplace, where bad press for one brand presents an opportune time to capitalize for another. A new Bloomberg puts forth a potential automotive example of this – fallout stemming from the recent Hyundai and Kia fuel economy debacle. The Korean automakers were recently marred for incorrectly calculating their fuel economy data, resulting in the downward adjustment of the fuel economy figures for many of their most popular models.

While this represents a setback for Kia and Hyundai, brands like Toyota and Honda are looking to gain ground on the two Korean marques, which have been catching up to Japan's volume automakers thanks to their radically improved lineups.

In 2010, Hyundai began touting its lineup as the most fuel-efficient in America. This stirred emotions at Honda, a brand that had been the nation's top performer in fuel economy for 33 years. With this recent adjustment by Hyundai, Honda is evidently hoping to wear the fuel efficiency crown once again.

According to the report, the Korean automakers' errors came in the EPA's "coastdown" test, in which a test car is driven to 80 mph, put in neutral and "coasted" to 9 mph. Hyundai admits this part of the test was not performed correctly. According to Sung Hwan Cho, president of Hyundai's US technical center, "These were just honest procedure errors in a very complex testing process."

Adding to Honda's opportunity is the recently previewed 2013 Honda Civic, set to go on sale the same day it is revealed at this month's LA Motor Show. The 2012 model came in for harsh criticism from the automotive press, though the model's sales proved largely unaffected by the controversy. Industry analysts suggest that Honda's new (and presumably improved) 2013 Civic should put the automaker in prime position to reclaim both consumer mindshare and the industry's MPG crown.


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  • 45 Comments
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      People have short memories. They might just forget about this issue and continue buying Hyundai's.
      Patrick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good, Honda keep doing what you're doing.
        m_2012
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Patrick
        Which is not building cars and focusing on airplanes and lawnmowers. Honda is dead as an automaker.
      fulredy
      • 2 Years Ago
      EPA estimates are just that, estimates. Drivers habits are real reason for lower mileage. This lawsuit will, in the end, cost consumers.
        bchreng
        • 2 Years Ago
        @fulredy
        While true, those estimates are supposed to be the results of tests done under controlled environments as well as reproducible under those conditions no?
        RoyEMunson
        • 2 Years Ago
        @fulredy
        Obviously you have no idea what is going on here... But really, Im tired of explaining the difference between real world driving compared to EPA, and EPA compared to EPA.
      Toronto St. Pats
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't worry, I wasn't gonna buy a Hyundai/Kia/Koreanjunk anyway.
      Antonio
      • 2 Years Ago
      The bigger **** has yet to hit the fan. The US government is now involved and wants to know why Hyundai was lying. Who knew of the lies. And will be imposing stiff fines accordingly. Similar to when the US government proved Hyundai was lying about their HP claims a few years ago. I believe Hyundai will do anything, ANYTHING to gain market share. They will rip off consumers, pay their fines, and keep doing so.
        Spiffster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Antonio
        If the benefit outweighs the punishment... BTW, why stop at HP and EPA numbers... what else can they lie about? I guess we will find out eventually, right?
      Lunch
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah sure, they "miscalculated." Yeah, riiiiiight,
      Dom
      • 2 Years Ago
      And to think that all this time Hhonda was being attacked for not keeping up when in reality they were still one of the top in fuel efficiency.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      RoyEMunson
      • 2 Years Ago
      OK, for all the retards out there... This has nothing, NOTHING to do with real world numbers... NOTHING. Got it? Hyundai did NOT follow EPA guidelines therefore they submitted, "submitted" being the key word here, invalid numbers to the EPA on a handful of cars. Not ALL, but a handful. Everyone knows the EPA sticker says "your mileage may vary" BUT this has nothing to do with that statement. NOTHING AT ALL. Do everyone a favor and READ THE ARTICLE before posting mindless crap.
      kjm830
      • 2 Years Ago
      you know why the other companies are not making a big deal about it...THEY ARE DOING IT TOO!!
        RoyEMunson
        • 2 Years Ago
        @kjm830
        The EPA cross checks these tests, so if there are other companies doing this, they would have gotten or will get caught eventually.
          xspeedy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @RoyEMunson
          They spot check. That means far fewer than a 100% cross check.
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's obviously popular to believe that Hyundai deliberately lied about aspect of the EPA testing. But, thinking about it with an open mind, it does make sense that this was an honest mistake, probably created by a Hyundai testing employee(s)'s desire to prove the car a winner, rather than a deliberate attempt to fool everyone. Every car manufacturer buys a newly released example of a competitors new model, and carefully examines and tests every aspect to see it's strengths and weaknesses. In addition, lot's of consumer magazines and motoring commentators, also test new models, just in case a mistake like this can be discovered and run as a sensational, exclusive 'scoop' ! Hyundai is well aware that detection would be certain, especially in such a litigious society as America ! Given the unlikelihood of getting away with any deliberate deception, I'm inclined to believe that this is more of a case of a mistake created by a fairly low ranking employee's over enthusiasm than a deliberate act.
        Spiffster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        I see what you are saying, I just simply dont see it as a valid excuse. Not even close. Its an outright lie and they took it a step further by ridiculing other automakers for requiring extra costly measures to achieve their level of efficiency. "Hyundai is well aware that detection would be certain, especially in such a litigious society as America ! " I totally agree with this statement.
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spiffster
          @ Spiffster Thank you for your reply. But in the end, neither of us know the truth. It's all just speculation. We are talking about the balance of probability. You have no evidence that anyone else at Hyundai knew that an error had been made. Hyundai's publicity people may have simply believed the erroneous testing results. Hyundai is a huge company, and the people responsible for Hyundai's publicity have probably never met the guy's who do the testing ! There is no evidence of any deliberate act. But, what is true, is that Hyundai and every manufacturer are well aware of the certainty of critical examination by a wide assortment of people and organizations. After all, the fact that we we are reading about it establishes that these things are difficult to keep secret ! If Ann Arbour can make mistakes, so can anyone !. I don't really care about Hyundai, and don't buy their products, but I hate the growth of displays of 'Gotcha' , by people who are acting out of hatred or bias, lacking any real knowledge. (Lynch mobs never act from noble motives).
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Interesting, ....6 readers obviously disagreed with me, but couldn't actually say why ! It's a sad fact, that some people love to get angry, and form lunch mobs. Why is it so much easier to believe everyone is evil or dishonest, than just accept that humans make mistakes ?
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think that Hyundai and Kia will lose some ground to Honda, but they still have better products (i.e. products that weren't designed with 'us too' as the mantra, like the CR-Z and Insight).
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