Hyundai and Kia have already gone public with plans to make good on the inflated fuel economy claims scandal that has rocked both companies in recent weeks. But one US senator, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), is skeptical that the general public will see much good from the proposal, and he's looking for answers.

To recap: Hyundai/Kia have agreed to compensate owners of 900,000 affected vehicles for real versus previously claimed fuel mileage (as well as adding in a one- fifteen-percent premium), by way of pre-loaded debit cards. It has been speculated that this payout could crest $100 million by the time the Korean automakers are done writing checks.

Said Rockefeller to The Detroit News, "While I believe this is a positive step, I am concerned that many affected customers may not learn about the program or may find it burdensome to participate in the program." Rockefeller would reportedly like to see a monitoring system for the paybacks more clearly defined, with the goal being as many wronged car buyers as possible getting the recompense that they're due.

For its part, the EPA is continuing its probe into the matter, and the government agency could yet pursue civil penalties against the automakers.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 179 Comments
      BC
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't know that it requires hearings, but the real damaged parties aren't the car buyers who probably got the same mileage they would have whatever was advertised, but the competing manufacturers who lost sales because Hyundai made so much noise about 40mpg highway as standard equipped.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        johnbravo6
        • 2 Years Ago
        Asking the average merkin to take responsibility for their own purchases is a little far-fetched. Watch the EPA and at least 6 other unnecessary agencies to get a bigger budget as a result of this oversight. An oversight, which, has already been corrected, mind you.
          johnbravo6
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnbravo6
          Anarchy is specifically defined as a society without rulers. Promoting non-existence of government is pretty much the only requirement... But then again, you've never left your house, and record shows about housewives, How would you know any better?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnbravo6
          [blocked]
          johnbravo6
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnbravo6
          Nope. Try again, S*** for brains. I'm an anarchist.
        Donny Hoover
        • 2 Years Ago
        You're making it sound like a conspiracy, dude. More like mpg estimates used to not be that big of a deal and the current system worked fine for the times. MPG is so much more important now for so many reasons yet, the old system has not been revised. Stuff like this happens all the time. People are afraid of change and hang on to flat out stupid, outdated things for no reason. Then they talk about how it "should really change" and still do nothing. Why do you think we still have the electoral college?
      Basil Exposition
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good God does congress have to have it's hands in EVERYTHING? I hate Politicians.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        "does congress have to have it's hands in EVERYTHING?" You seem to be unclear on the concept of what a government does.
          Basil Exposition
          • 2 Years Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          You seem a little unclear on the the difference between Congressmen and EPA employees.
      Vinny68
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love how most commenters believe that H/K intentionally lied about the mpg figures instead of it being a mistake. The people who calculate these numbers and run the tests are people just like you and me who sometimes make mistakes. I know I've made mistakes in the past and will make them in the future but luckily mine have never led to a major public relations embarassment for my company or cost millions of dollars to fix. Lay off the conspiracy theories people!
        RoyEMunson
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vinny68
        Not a conspiracy theory, its just a known fact that Hyundai / Kia has a particularly nasty habit of only inflating numbers. A reasonable person could dismiss one and maybe even two mistakes... and its particularly interesting that the mistake was made on some vehicles, not all. Only a fool would believe this wasnt intentional.
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vinny68
        Ifas you say it was an honest mistake, there wouldnt be lawsuits or federal investigation....Hyundai ADMITTED to over estimating the Mileage.....theres NO honest mistake about that...
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vinny68
        Every single time, the mistake happens to be in the company's favor. Hyundai, Kia, Ford, BMW. If it's an honest mistake, where are all the MPG claims that mistakenly show too low of a gas mileage?
          RoyEMunson
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          That actually happens a lot, just never to Hyundai.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vinny68
        An honest mistake would affect just one or two cars, not the entire line-up. An honest mistake might over-report on one car and underreport on another, not overreport on every single car across the line-up. If you still think this is an honest mistake, it is you who is indulging in conspiracy theories.
      RUNRUNRUN@ilikeelectronics.com
      We have a $16 TRILLION debt... and Rockefeller is worried about this?
        icemilkcoffee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RUNRUNRUN@ilikeelectronics.com
        He is a senator. He can worry about more than one thing at a time.
          m_2012
          • 2 Years Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          and do nothing about any of them except add to the problem.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Smells like sabotage of foreign competitors to me. Honestly, lying about MPG is something car companies have always done. I have only seen Asian automakers dinged for it. But we know that Ford, GM, and Chrysler have all got off scott free in the past, haven't they?
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        We know this? From where should I have learned this?
        brandon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        It's because the stupid sheeple love to see "Domestic" companies do well. The irony is that most domestics make less inside the boarders of the US than their "Non Domestic" counter parts. But of course our fellow amercans are far too stupid to realize and understand this.
          brandon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brandon
          I did above. Feel free to look at the parts content label when you buy your next car. http://www.thestreet.com/story/11603343/11/10-most-american-made-cars-of-2012.html Oh, lookathere. Whaddayaknow. Toyota leads the list and that was a two second search.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brandon
          [blocked]
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        nope.
        lostboyz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        What are you talking about? You don't lie about your EPA results because the EPA will eventually find out, just like this. I don't doubt that this will spawn a deeper audit into all OEM EPA regulatory testing. It's common to not meet your sticker number because the EPA cycle isn't representative of most people's drive cycle or incorporate poor driving habits.
      ferps
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe it's time to stop relying on manufacturer estimates and have the EPA actually test the cars themselves. This isn't the first time this has happened, and ancillary evidence suggests that a lot of cars currently on sale have "optimistic" fuel economy numbers.
        Smooth Motor
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ferps
        They do test the cars. How do you think the error was detected?
          Mason
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Smooth Motor
          If they did test all new cars they would have found this error 3 years ago.
          MP
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Smooth Motor
          Only about 15% of new cars are tested by the EPA http://cars.about.com/od/fueleconomyinfo/a/epa_mpg_testing.htm
        brandon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ferps
        Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong..........WE DON'T NEED THE GOVERNMENT DOING EVEN MORE WASTING OF TAX PAYER DOLLARS. The "market" is working it out as we speak, so where is the problem here? Remind me why we let you vote?
          brandon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brandon
          Yes, but we, the taxpayer, do not pay for the lawsuits. H/K does. Or the plaintiff if they lose. Not to mention, do you really want the government giving us all of our information on what to/not to buy? Personally, I don't. and I don't appreciate others forcing it on me either.
          ferps
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brandon
          the dead-weight cost of this lawsuit alone is almost certainly more than it would cost to implement better testing and regulation.
        jjmoonen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ferps
        Couldn't agree more. We all know manufacturers will skew things as much as possible to get an edge. Why not level the playing field (in regards to the testing) and have it all done by a single third party entity. That way its consistent and there are no ulterior motives.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ferps
        Agreed 100%. Enough of this scamtastic 'self reporting'. The EPA should do all the testing to ensure consistency. Right now you'd be a fool to trust any of the manufacturers. And the manufacturers would be a fool to report an honest number, when they see others getting away with wild exxagerations, like Ford is doing with the C-Max.
      BLSully
      • 2 Years Ago
      Doesn't the USA have better things to worry about than quibbling over ESTIMATED mileage numbers? Everyone and their mother seems to think that 1 or 2 mpg is what stands between them and the poor house. I'm sorry, not getting the mileage you think you should? Maybe lay off the McDonalds, clean the back seat of 3 weeks of newspapers, Starbucks cups, and the iPhone 4 your kids play with now cuz the iPhone 5 came out and OMG MUST HAVE IT.... Given someone owns their car for 100,000 miles, they will likely spend less than $300 extra on fuel. Anyone working on a budget so tight that $300 matters over that many years has no business buying a new car to begin with. But oh yes, let's get the USA's government involved and "enforce" their VOLUNTARY offer to reimburse buyers. What a bunch of nonsense.
        Peter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BLSully
        You sir hit it right on the dot.
          merlot066
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Peter
          $300 is literally the lowest amount that this issue could affect someone. Extra fuel at 100,000 miles for an Accent add up to over $700. If you look at the Soul, the extra gas will cost over $2,200, and that's assuming gas will cost $3.50 for the next 5 years. The amount of extra gas you'd in a year could add up to be as much as an extra month's car payment.
          m_2012
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Peter
          and will be down voted for such. The armchair auto experts know all.
      Eidolon
      • 2 Years Ago
      You can nearly always count on members of Congress to horn in on ongoing corporate investigations as a means of increasing their own political standings. Corporations make GREAT hastily erected straw-men villains for useless political posturing. The only investigation that needs to be performed has been: Hyundai/Kia really did make an honest mistake and misstated the numbers, rather than inflating them. If it were an intentional misstatement made to sell more automobiles, then compensating by MPG would be insufficient.
        features
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eidolon
        Eidolon, I hope you are NOT so naive as to think this was an "honest" mistake by Hyundai and KIA!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eidolon
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          m_2012
          • 2 Years Ago
          Time for your meds.
          brandon
          • 2 Years Ago
          Oh, but the sad part is they still make better cars than GM..........And I still wouldn't buy either. Thanks for proving your "allegiance" to america. :rollseyes:
          MP
          • 2 Years Ago
          Hi, I'm your "low rent American" who purchased a car. I own a Hyundai as well as a brand new German car. I also hold a professional degree and make well over fix figures a year. When I get my reimbursement from Hyundai, I will be donating it to a charity because apparently I have "no class."
        Mason
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eidolon
        I doubt that a member of the Rockefeller family would launch this investigation just to increase his political standing/power...he's already a Rockefeller, that's pretty much the top.
          Eidolon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mason
          In which case he does if out of a deluded sense of self-importance and self-aggrandizement. I'm not sure that's an improvement!
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eidolon
        ok, I need an explanation. Eidolon...what exactly is the difference between mis-stating and inflating, and for that matter...lying?.....
          Dean Hammond
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          no offense, but I totally dis-agree...Hyundai probably knew EXACTLY what they were doing and it was probably a reaction to other manufaturers having already released vehicles with the magic "40 mpg" number. I doubt they thought they would be caught, however questions were raised when a multitude of recent Hyundai owners voiced their dis-pleasure, and lets be real here...on evehicle was rated at 6mpgs BELOW the magic number...thats not error, thats inexcusable.
          Eidolon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          The numbers were larger than reality, and in that sense were inflated, adjective. Inflating the numbers indicates enlarging the numbers for deception. So the difference between misstating and lying is whether or not the numbers they shared were simply incorrect or were intentionally "incorrect". According to a Bloomberg report referenced right here on Autoblog in an earlier article (http://www.autoblog.com/2012/11/19/will-hyundais-mpg-malfunction-give-ground-to-honda/), the issue came in a specific test. In short, it is actually very possible that Hyundai goofed up the test. Yes, it is possible that Hyundai intentionally threw a wrench into the process to overstate their claims and improve their marketing position. And it's also possible that we never went to the moon and 9/11 was an inside job. I don't put much faith in convenient conspiracy theories unless they're proven true. Especially since any such decision to intentionally fabricate their mileage numbers would have to be weighed against the fallout of being discovered. Heck, we don't have concrete proof that it was intentional now and people are *still* flipping out.
      Dennis
      • 2 Years Ago
      I encourage everybody to email this Senator. They should get their own house in order before worrying about others. What a giant Glass Mansion these guys live in.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        William C.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Oh yeah, because a "procedural" error that may or may not cost owners a few bucks a year is much worse than a mistake that killed someone!!!
          Dean Hammond
          • 2 Years Ago
          @William C.
          Will, I dont think one car being 6mpgs has ANYTHING to do with a"proceedural" error...and what exactly is a "proceedural" error, someone saying to hell with it, everyone else is 40mpgs, lets just go with the flow.....it most definitely was NOT an "honest" error....
          Dean Hammond
          • 2 Years Ago
          @William C.
          William...this isnt a procedural error.....Hyundai Motor Company and its affiliate Kia Motors Corporation admitted to have exaggerated the gasoline mileage for more than 1 million 2011 to 2013 model year cars in the United States and Canada. note the word ADMITTED.....
          William C.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @William C.
          Dean, I encourage you to read Hyundai/Kia press statement, in which they admit to a "procedural error" causing the mpg numbers to be wrong. Also thanks for completely missing the point of my post!
          William C.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @William C.
          Dean, nor you or I can positively say it was done intentionally or unintentionally by Hyundai/kia, frankly I don't care that wasn't the point of my post!!!
      brandon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yay, lets whip the stupid public up into a false frenzy over a "non"-domestic (and I use that term VERY loosely considering they make more in "america" than either of the "big 3" do) car company doing the same thing as every other car company. Dear lord the public is stupid. Yes, I said it twice, and honestly that's not enough.
        RoyEMunson
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brandon
        Brandon, you sir are hilariously delusional. I enjoy reading your ironic posts... you know, for the entertainment value, not much else.
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brandon
        Brandon, its only a frenzy to those that deem it that way.....and the reactions would be the same irrespective if the vehicle was domestic or in this case imported....what Hyundai did was just plain fraudulent, and they got caught, pretty much an open and shut case...
        Steve
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brandon
        Brandon, Have you even looked into how many car models Kia and Hyundia imports? Kia imports the Soul, Rio, Forte, Sportage, and Sedona. Hyundai imports the Accent, Veloster, Azera, Tucsan, Veracruz and Equus. That is most of their lineup!
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Steve
          [blocked]
          brandon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Steve
          I mean/mean't it in terms of most "non domestic" production. I know I said "they", but the "they" I mean(and should have clarified) is the typical honda/toy/niss/etc.
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