Hyundai (and sister company Kia) found itself in a bit of hot water recently over false fuel economy estimates on the window stickers of its cars. To remedy this, the automakers will be compensating some 900,000 owners based on their vehicles' odometer readings, and the companies will add an additional 15 percent over the dollar value. In simple terms, this means that for someone who has driven 15,000 miles, a 1-mpg fuel economy reduction would result in a reimbursement of $88.
As part of its Los Angeles Auto Show press conference, Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik updated us on the progress of its reimbursement program, stating that about 90 percent of owners are happy with the process.
"Our Hyundai dealers are focused on doing a great job of explaining the reimbursement program to those owners, and they are pulling out all the stops to delight them. It's difficult to put a number on satisfaction for programs like this one, but right now I can tell you that 90 percent of those people who have visited our dealerships for verification of their odometer reading are really satisfied with the reimbursement program. That's a great result. In fact, it's a higher level of satisfaction we've seen compared to any other dealers service campaign we've done."
"I can tell you that 90 percent of those people who have visited our dealerships for verification of their odometer reading are really satisfied with the reimbursement program."
The Hyundai Accent, Elantra and Veloster will see their highway fuel economy numbers drop from 40 miles per gallon to either 37 or 38 mpg highway.
"This whole episode has obviously been a really difficult one for all of us at Hyundai," Krafcik stated. "We've had a goal of being a fuel efficiency leader in this industry, and while this situation seems to work against that cause, I'm telling you, it's actually strengthening the collective resolve we all have to do a great job here."
Hyundai has long apologized for this situation, citing "human errors" and "honest mistakes" being made during in-house fuel economy testing. "We're treating this like the serious matter it is," said Krafcik, "and we're treating each customer like we would want to be treated. We're owning this issue, we're letting folks know we care, and we're making it right for them – again, for as long as they own their cars."