Hyundai Buyers Satisfied With MPG Reimbursement Program
John Krafcik, American CEO of Hyundai, said 90% of people are happy with how it's working out
"It's difficult to put a number on satisfaction programs like this one, but right now all I can tell you is that 90 percent of those people who have visited our dealerships for verification of their odometer reading are really satisfied with the reimbursement," Krafcik said at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week.
About 35 percent of the cars Kia and Hyundai have sold since 2010 had misstated fuel economy numbers, which amounts to approximately 900,000 vehicles. They plan to reimburse affected car owners with debit cards.
The reimbursement checks are based on how many miles are on the car combined. The majority of cars will lose just 1 mpg, so for an owner who drove 15,000 miles will get about $88, according to Autoblog.
The news came out after the EPA audited the figures. The EPA only tests about 15% of the auto manufacturer's claims on mpg numbers. The most-affected vehicle is the Kia Soul, which dropped from 35 mpg to 29 mpg.
Current Hyundai owners may not be bothered too much by the news, but Edmunds.com says new car buyers say they're less likely to shop a Hyundai or Kia car because of the snafu. But Americans have notoriously short attention spans, so it's possible that number will bounce right back up.
"This whole episode has obviously been a really difficult one for all of us at Hyundai," Krafcik said. "We've had a goal of being a fuel efficiency leader in this industry, and while this situation seems to work against that cause."
The issue opens up an opportunity for Honda to steal some Hyundai customers, said Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports.
"If anyone has a question in their head about Hyundai, they're going to turn to Honda," Fisher said.
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