2012 Kia Soul base model with bridge

Summarizing the results of research carried out by Edmunds, Reuters reports that consumers' are less inclined to purchase cars from Hyundai and Kia due to the company's recent snafu over inflated mileage claims. The Edmunds metric of "purchase intent" declined by 1.9 percent for the Kia Soul (pictured), meaning that the largest drop in consideration coincided with the model that suffered the biggest drop in mileage ratings. Consideration dropped .4 percent for the Hyundai Elantra, and purchasing intent also fell for the Hyundai Accent and Veloster, as well as the Kia Rio.

An Edmunds analyst thinks the brouhaha could affect "future business as this development may have a direct impact on Hyundai's credibility with some U.S. buyers," and Moody's Investment Service figures compensating buyers might cost "$100 million a year until the cars are scrapped" – and that cost doesn't include potential damages from lawsuits. But in the "we all have opinions" column, other analysts don't believe there won't be any serious long-term fallout from the mileage mistatements. Remember, it was only two years ago that Toyota was being frogmarched across the nation to be pilloried in Washington, D.C. for what is arguably a much more grievous offense, and woe was all the rage when describing Toyota's plight. And now? It's ranked among the best global brands in 2012 and appears poised to retake the title of world's largest automaker.