In all of the most hotly contested mainstream segments of the motoring universe, the difference of one mile per gallon averaged on a widow sticker can mean the difference between a sale and a walk-off – to say nothing of two or three mpg. So, when Hyundai and Kia were forced to reveal that many of their 40-mpg ratings were actually 38s and 37s, well, it made for big news.

It also, conceivably, made for a competitive disadvantage immediately, when the Korean automakers' products were being shopped versus the guys down the block. And it's that disadvantage that makes a recent story from Automotive News so juicy.

AN is reporting that Margo Oge, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, got a tip in 2010 that Hyundai/Kia were "cheating" to get its impressive fuel economy numbers. The tip, said Oge (who retired from the EPA this past September), came from a senior vice president from a domestic automaker. The source was credible enough for Oge to launch an audit of the Hyundai figures, which ultimately lead to the debacle that we reported on a few months ago, and that the Korean company has been trying to bounce back from ever since.

The report indicates that representatives from both Chrysler and General Motors denied tipping off the EPA, outright. Ford reaction, meanwhile, was more circumspect, saying roughly that the company does not comment on specific conversations between Ford and policymakers.

The lack of a straight denial does not realistically implicate Ford here, we'd point out. But it doesn't do a lot to rule The Blue Oval out of the finger-pointing mystery, either. We'll probably never know the real answer to the "who tattled?" question, but we'll put it do you, anyway. Which of the Big Three automakers do you think would have gained the most from a Hyundai/Kia mpg drama? Give us your gut feeling, in comments.


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  • 89 Comments
      rmkensington
      • 2 Years Ago
      Doesnt matter who turned them in, they were lying. I dont think anyone would hesitate to turn in a cheating competitor.
        Mr E
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rmkensington
        Seriously, who cares in this case since it turned out that they were lying. Ford has had its share of getting in trouble for false claims as well.
      Mazdaspeed6
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hyundai only has itself to blame for lying. They were malicious in trying to deceive buyers. One of my bro has a optima Turbo sx and the other one had a genesis 3.8 Grand Touring coupe. Both fantastic cars with under performing mpg and acceleration numbers. But Hyundai has been building good cars so they can bounce back from this fast.
        MacProMan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mazdaspeed6
        underperforming mpg and acceleration means they don't get the advertised mpgs and 0-60 times? just clarifying
      Unni
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its a good thing for people to bring cheating and bad business practices to light. I wont worry who tipped, i will worry the information is correct or not and in this case it was proved that the info was correct. So the person tipped deserves appreciation.
      graphikzking
      • 2 Years Ago
      It WAS Chrysler. Chrysler went to Hyundai publicly and stated they couldn't get the mpg from the "world" engines that Hyundai was getting from essentially the same engine. I'm sure once Dodge/Chrysler saw them do their test procedures someone blew that whistle. I wish I could find the article. It was the world engine that Dodge is using in the Dart now. They couldn't get that 40mpg that
      dezoris00
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hyundai implicated themselves by making sure their marketing of the 40MPG and published EPA data was not obtainable by a majority of press and owners. It has been a well known problem for a few years and glazed over until it blew up in their faces.
      pdwid
      • 2 Years Ago
      Comments? Why didn't you give us a poll?
      buckfeverjohnson
      • 2 Years Ago
      Makes you wonder if one of H/K's competitors bought some of their products and ran them through the EPA mileage cycle. Makes a ton of sense, especially since H/K kept advertising that you didn't need a special "high-mileage" package to attain 40 MPG.
        lostboyz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @buckfeverjohnson
        Everybody in the industry does this, standard practice.
      BYALTF
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you remember some time back Ford tried to make an issue out of how the Focus out did the Elanta at a constant 45 mph by a good margin. It wouldn't surprise me if Ford thought that Hyundai as pushing the rules envelope a little to far. That said, I would hope that Ford would be smart enough to leave themselves a little more margin. Time will tell. Maybe they thought if Hyundai is getting away with it, and not counting on the slowness of the government to react. figured they could too,
      MediaCritiquer.com
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wouldn't be a surprise. Let's see how Ford deals with their own mileage investigation.
      Doug
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lets see, in addition to Ford we have (1) Sergio, and (2) Akerson. So then. Its clear, all 3 domestics ratted out Hyundai, probably on an hourly basis too. :)
      d
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford, the we lied to the tune of 9 MPG+ on our hybrids. That Ford? Ford is by far the dirtiest player in the automotive world. Mullaly brought all the dirty tricks he learned at Boeing to Ford. Taking billions in government loans, but hiding them under advanced fuel research grants. Putting fancy clothes on engineering disasters with the potential to kill innocent people. What a great guy. Of course in America a total sociopath is to be commended and given only the highest forms of praise.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @d
        Yup. Hyundai was off by about 2mpg. Ford is just completely shameless. I think when the numbers come in, it will show they are off by a good 7-9 mpg.
          lostboyz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          The kia soul was off by 6
      FuelToTheFire
      • 2 Years Ago
      Anyone who buys a Hyundai or Kia deserves what they got. Hyundais are some of the most unreliable, cheapest uilt, lowest quality cars out there, and the only people who buy them are trashy welfare scum who can't afford anything else. I don't even know why they are even allowed to sell their cars in the US, when automakers of likewise quality, like Geely and Tata aren't
        thatoneguy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Go drive one and you will see how wrong you are.
        merlot066
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        You were sort of off to a good start... then went way too far. To rephrase what you said in a more consice and appropriate way... Hyundai has changed a lot lately and their styling and marketing tries to pass their cars off as premium products, however they remain cheap around the edges and generally miss the mark in most instances. However, many people are purchasing Hyundais and acting like they've purchased a $100,000 Mercedes by tinting the windows, adding tack-on LED lights, and acting like morons. Fixed it.
        fulredy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Sound like a UAW thug.
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