• Jan 3, 2013
Automotive journalists have been hearing a consistent message from Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia: their attributes top the competition. Over the last few years, they have claimed superiority for most of their products in nearly every measure that matters, from power and torque to interior and cargo capacity to, most importantly, fuel economy.

Hyundai logoWhen Hyundai introduced its new compact Elantra a couple years ago, execs poked fun at rivals for using asterisks to designate that their 40-mpg compacts – vehicles like the Chevrolet Cruze ECO, Ford Focus SFE, Dodge Dart Aero and Honda Civic HF – were special high-efficiency models. The Elantra and friends, they boasted, needed no such disclaimer because every model was EPA rated at 40 mpg highway. Yet they also claimed better power, torque and performance.

As a recovering engineer, I have wondered how that could be possible. How can nearly every Korean car and crossover boast better power, torque and fuel efficiency than every other in its segment? Could Korean engineers be that much smarter than everyone else? They certainly are smart, and hard working. But so are Japanese, Germans and Americans.

When I've questioned such "better at everything" claims at Hyundai and Kia new-product introductions, I've received little response beyond smiles and smugly shrugged shoulders. But US auto engineers – who routinely test, analyze and benchmark competitive products – have told me (off the record) that, in their own testing of Hyundai and Kia vehicles, they've been unable to achieve the Koreans' advertised numbers.

Wouldn't it be embarrassing and image damaging for them to get caught cheating?

Could it be, I wondered, that Hyundai and Kia have been fudging their fuel-economy numbers, especially those very important 40-mpg EPA highway claims? Doesn't our all-powerful EPA audit and check automakers' claims to keep them honest? Wouldn't it be embarrassing and image damaging for them to get caught cheating? Yes, sort of and yes.

But how many Americans recall that these same Korean companies were caught a decade ago inflating their power and performance claims? Very few apparently remember, or care, since both have enjoyed record-setting US sales since then. But cheating on EPA fuel economy ratings? How could they do that, and how have they gotten away with it?

But now, as most readers know, Hyundai and Kia (which is owned by Hyundai and shares its platforms and powertrains) got caught doing exactly that by the EPA, which started auditing their fuel-economy claims following consumer (and competitor) complaints. And these audits have shown that they have "overstated" (by one, two or more miles per gallon) the fuel-economy ratings of nearly a million 2011-2013 vehicles sold through October, 2012.



Red-faced Hyundai/Kia executives blamed "procedural errors" in testing in Korea. They apologized, killed their "40-mpg" ads and began putting corrected window stickers on unsold vehicles. They are also compensating (via debit cards) owners of affected vehicles for the differences between claimed and corrected gas mileage. And, of course, at least one class-action lawsuit has been filed against them by legal vultures looking to cash in.

My theory is that the easiest way for an automaker to inflate mpg ratings would be to deflate the "road load" power curves.

My theory has been that the easiest, and most difficult to catch, way for an automaker to inflate its fuel-economy ratings would be by deflating the "road load" power curves it uses to calibrate dynamometers (stationary vehicle test-lab treadmills) for EPA highway emissions/fuel economy tests. Because dynos operate indoors, these road-load numbers are needed to simulate aerodynamic drag and other factors that affect a vehicle's real-world energy usage.

A vehicle's road-load power requirements – the energy it needs to roll, throttle off, at a constant speed – is determined by very precise coast-down testing. According to the SAE procedure, these tests are run with the vehicle coasting in neutral on a long (typically two-mile) stretch of dry, clean, straight, perfectly-level road, at air temperatures between 41 and 95 degrees F, with little wind and no precipitation. A minimum of 10 runs (five each direction) is required, each beginning at a minimum of 125 kilometers per hour (77.7 miles per hour) and ending after the vehicle has coasted down to 15 kph (9.3 mph). Data is continuously recorded between 115 and 15 kph.

With no suitable facility to run their own coast-down tests, the EPA has had to accept automakers' road-load power numbers.

Through complex calculations, this data then determines a vehicle's road-load energy usage as a function of speed, which becomes a major mathematical factor in the EPA's highway test calculation. So if its reported road-load curve is inaccurately low, a car's EPA highway rating (and also, as a result, its city/highway "combined" rating) will be unrealistically high. And while the EPA audits automakers' test procedures and runs emissions/fuel-economy tests (on a small percentage of vehicles) in its own Ann Arbor, MI dynamometer lab to validate their results, with no suitable facility to run their own coast-down tests, they have had to accept automakers' road-load power numbers as submitted.

And, sure enough, Hyundai/Kia says the "procedural errors" that led to its bogus fuel-economy claims involved coast-down testing. Is it possible that their engineers misinterpreted the very specific SAE procedural instructions and/or miscalculated the road-load numbers derived from their coast-down data? Possible, yes. But not if they're the world's smartest.

2012 Hyundai Elantra window sticker

Now that the Koreans have been caught with their hands in the fuel-economy cookie jar, the EPA, the media and class-action parasites are also going after Ford's impressively high (and impossible to achieve in the real-world) 47 mpg city/47 highway/47 combined ratings for its Fusion and C-Max hybrids. Ford doesn't help its credibility by routinely stating its vehicle's highway ratings as if they were real-world – but so far is standing by its hybrid mpg numbers.

Kia logo To see which current vehicles come closest to achieving their (usually realistic) EPA combined ratings in real-world driving, I sorted my recent test-vehicle data in order of the mathematical differences between them. Most vehicles from most makers have come pretty close. But topping the list of overachievers was the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E350 Bluetec hybrid I drove back in May, 2012 at 33.2 mpg observed vs. its 25-mpg rating. Four other 2012 German cars (a VW Toureg, a Mercedes S550, an Audi TT RS and an Audi Q7) were next in line at four-to-seven mpg over their EPA combined numbers.

Notable at the bottom of my chart were a 2013 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid at 32.4 mpg, a whopping 14.6 below its 47-mpg combined rating, and a regular C-Max at 34.2 mpg, although (to be fair) they were driven in November/December cold weather. A 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid (October) also under-performed at 35.6 mpg (11.4 mpg below), while a Toyota Prius C (April) came in at -10.2 mpg, a Kia Soul (March) at -8.5, a Toyota Camry Hybrid (September) at -5.3, a Hyundai Elantra at -4.3 and a Hyundai Genesis Coupe at -3.9 mpg.

Because I drive each car (as an owner would) in different weather and road conditions, some mostly on freeways, others more on urban and suburban roads, depending on my schedule, these are interesting but unscientific comparisons. And I should add that any damage done to Hyundai's and Kia's brand images by this recent inflated-fuel-economy-claims embarrassment seems fleeting so far, since both have continued their hot sales unabated.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      SVX pearlie
      • 1 Year Ago
      While is good that the author started with Hyundai and the Ford hybrids, they forgot the Ford Energi. Threre is no way that the Ford Fusion Energi has lower consumption than the smaller, lighter, and more aerodynamic Chevy Volt.
        SVX pearlie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        Maybe you have trouble reading: "Threre is no way that the Ford Fusion Energi has lower consumption than the smaller, lighter, and more aerodynamic Chevy Volt."
        paulwesterberg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        Maybe you just have trouble reading: "Notable at the bottom of my chart were a 2013 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid at 32.4 mpg, a whopping 14.6 below its 47-mpg combined rating"
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lying about your vehicles mileage is so much easier and cheaper than doing the engineering work to improve aerodynamics and reduce vehicle weight.
        paulwesterberg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        The costs of getting caught are small compared to the profits that can be made selling cars. Paying small fines to the EPA and buying a few gas cards for existing owners is pocket change.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Does anyone even know what the formal punishment is for submitting fudged MPG numbers? There should be a really harsh punishment for it. I think the EPA should just test all cars. But if we don't do that, there should be a rule that if you get caught fudging your numbers then you have to submit all your cars to the EPA to have them test them and pay the EPA a hefty for the testing. Without accountability & punishment, there is no point to rules & regulations.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Oh . . . I forgot to add that cheaters should have to submit their cars to the EPA for 10 years after being caught cheating. They get put on probation.
          SpikeFiend
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          mpg ESTIMATE. You mileage may vary, literally. Full testing by one body would be good. Also, more than just an average number would be good as well. For example, the tag could have a Max, Min, EPA average, and Real World (aka angry driver) mpg numbers. That way you could see that it would be possible to hit X mpgs, but if you drive like an ass hat, you'll probably get Y mpgs. With that being said, people are pretty dumb and have a tough time with numbers. Maybe they can just use colors instead (red=bad, purple=really really good, ROY G BIV style).
      Levine Levine
      • 1 Year Ago
      While Witzenburg admitted he's a recovery engineer, he failed to confess his gullibility for government regulatory agencies, especially such as the EPA. Didn't Witzenburg know that the Federal inspectors passed BP oil drilling bulk-head just a day before it imploded and released billions of gallon of crude oit into the Gulf? Lest he forget, didn't the SEC regulators partied with Madoff and still couldn't sniff out his Ponzi scheme? Or how about the USDA prohibiting a Texan cattle rancher from testing all his cattle for MadCow Disease. And don't get me started on the FCC, FBI, and a host of others. Witzenburg as well as naive Americans should know that Federal regulators are enpowered to protect regulated industry not consumer interest -- their mission is to shield the industry from public scrutiny and provide deniability. The 'revolving door' and 'fornification with the enemy' are part and parcel of the career path of regulators leading to the executive offices of the regulated industry. This is the primary reason Big Government is a waste of taxpayer's money.
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Levine Levine
        You made an excellent point but gave no alternative solution to the problem. "This is the primary reason Big Government is a waste of taxpayer's money." Is the alternative to leave business alone? Of course not. Some regulation, even if it's faulty, is better than no regulation at all.
          Actionable Mango
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          I am not blindly anti-regulation and certainly understand the need for it. But for crying out loud, the companies are LITERALLY writing bills and handing them to Congress members, who propose the bills WITHOUT EVEN READING THEM. They legally bribe congress and totally have them in their pockets. Individuals swap between government and lobbyist jobs. Heck, they even marry each other. You ask for an alternative. In this specific example, there IS a good alternative for reporting mileage, via a private company such as Consumer Reports. A wide problem with government regulating corporations is that the government is too easily corrupted by lobbyists and money from those same corporations. In this example a trusted private company such as Consumer Reports (or any other reviewer really) can report on gas mileage of cars. Consumer Reports can refuse to take money from the companies whose products it reviews, and they have to compete with other private reviewers to become a trusted source. If Consumer Reports ever lets us down, we can go somewhere else or someone else wanted to compete with them can take their place. If the government lets us down, we just keep reelecting them (Congress approval rating is 18% and nearly all of them will keep their jobs). Really the only thing keeping government even a little bit honest are other corporations with their own separate interests, such as news agencies. News agencies are one of the few watchdogs we have left today, and they are going out of business. Granted, EPA MPG ratings seem to be pretty close these days but for most of my life they were a joke and one could never get close to the mileage rating. Back in the day you actually got better data just asking your friends, family, and coworkers what mileage they got.
      SprinterMatt
      • 1 Year Ago
      how about a universal mpg/kpl test that ALL manufacturers use. Perhaps the key difference being changes based on available fuel in a country. one test to rule them all. That way we can compare apples to apples, not nickels to beads.
        montoym
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SprinterMatt
        There is a single testing procedure tha tthe EPA uses and all manufacturers test their vehicles to that test. It is designed to be apples to apples. As mentioned here (and countless other times), the difference is, the manufacturer's are left to do the testing and the EPA only has the capability of testing 5-10% of the figures So, there is a lot of possibilty there of fudging of figures. When fuel economy becomes a higher priortiy for buyers, that increases the desire, on the manufacturer's part, to make their vehcile look better than the competition. So, it makes sense that they are going to push the limits a bit to eek out a little bit here and there. The question is, how do we change the testing procedure to reduce or remove these issues? Especially considering that the EPA has no way to take on all the testing themselves, the manfacturers are still going to have to be relied upon.
      • 1 Year Ago
      If you ask me any car that gets 35 miles and more would be great to own. I am in the process of looking at buying a new car and I am very conflicted . I am a very proud American who tries to buy all American products as much as I can , but we have a huge problem in that area, most American made cars just don't last near as long, they have more breakdown's and are either too small or to big and just plan not made well. I have owned both ford, Chevrolet and Honda's and I have to say that I may just have to buy a KIA this time around. I drove one Honda for 15 years and it was a awesome car, but my son's got so tall that there was no room for them to grow anymore. I owned a ford and it had major problems at every turn. I need something affordable , something with great gas mileage and most important safety. I am at the point in my life that getting the biggest bang for my money is trumping my patriotic self.
      • 1 Year Ago
      "legal vultures looking to cash in..." What the **** are you talking about? Can't you see the connection between malicious behavior and the opportunity presented by the legal system to correct it? I'm glad someone is suing them and I hope the collect a ton of money. I don't even care what happens to the money; the plaintiffs can burn it. The value is that these and other companies will see there is a real, negative consequence to cheating the regulations. I certainly wouldn't expect our underfunded and hated-by-the-right EPA to be capable of properly "regulating" the manufacturers.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        Indeed. Our government doesn't seem to have the power to enforce its own rules. I'm glad that some legal firms are going to hit them hard because they committed fraud and need to be punished. Why doesn't he call Hyundai a "vulture looking to cash in" by preying upon credulous consumers and stealing sales from their honest competitors?
      Michael Walsh
      • 1 Year Ago
      Even the car lies to you. I recently took an Elantra to Vegas and back -- the car told me I was averaging 35mpg going and 31mpg coming back. Totaling my fuel receipts and calculating them against distance travelled, I came up with 28mpg.
      Jared
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have also wondered about Hyundai's power claims recently as well. That 2.0T that gets an un-certified 274 HP but is slower than a Toyota Camry vs. a Hyundai Sonata, call me skeptical. I am not a Toyota fan either, but those numbers don't make sense to me. When you can post whatever you want, why not fudge a little bit? That must have been what they were thinking. I also think Ford will look stupid if they are caught cheating on a hybrid's fuel economy. It is kinda the main selling point on cars like that.
        mylexicon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jared
        I can't vouch for Hyundai's numbers; however the situation is not that unusual. First, the manufacturers have been increasing horsepower and diluting performance with fuel-efficiency-gearboxes for a long time. Sedans are the perfect market segment for such antics b/c buyers will often focus on horsepower, but not 0-60 performance. Second, increasing boost pressure on small displacement engines often requires a richer mixture or sometimes premium gasoline, so the incentives to hobble the performance with an efficiency gearbox are even stronger.
        Aaron
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jared
        You know, I wondered about that too. The other day, I heard the distinct turbo whistle taking off from a green light next to me, so I gunned it. It was a Hyundai Genesis Turbo 2.0l manual. My car? A 2004 Mazda 3 2.3l automatic. I kept up with him. That's sad (for him). I wasn't even in manual shift mode (shift point goes from 6800 RPM fully automatic to 7200 RPM in manual shift mode). Maybe that car is incredibly bloated and heavy.
          montoym
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Aaron
          You may have gunned it, but it doesn't mean he did. A turbo car will still whistle even if it's producing low boost, it doesn't just whistle when it's running at WOT. I can say that's definitley true of my turbo car, even 5psi or so will result in a whistle, it just gets louder as the boost level climbs. Nothing you said means that the Genesis was racing you or was at WOT. That said, I don't disagree witht he premise that Hyundai tends to exagerrate their figures (both fuel economy as well as power), but it doesn't mean that you've suggested a compelling argument either.
          montoym
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Aaron
          I also forgot to add in the fact that the early models of the Genesis Coupe (everything before 2013) had the 210hp version of the 2.0T, not the current 274hp version. Did you note which model year it was? Was it one of the newly-facelifted versions?
      Anderlan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I continually see people defending Ford in these (American) forums, saying basically "YMMV", but I didn't see very many defending Hyundai, particularly with such weak arguments. Either Ford's numbers are sufficiently bad or they aren't. If 5mpg was too much fudging for Hyundai, it's too much for Ford. It is incredibly important that Ford not get away with it's bullshit anymore than Hyundai did, because if EPA lets anyone slide on MPG testing, then every other manufacturer will have to start lying too, just to compete!
        mylexicon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Anderlan
        EPA testing is a matter of technology, engineering and regulatory theory/practice. We have inaccuracy regarding two completely different types of powertrains (Hyundai ICE vs. Ford hybrid). You simply gloss over all of the relevant technological, engineering, and regulatory issues (some of which have been outlined in the article), and you balance your argument on the fulcrum of nationalistic hypocrisy. Your comment is insulting, and the positive rating next to your comment is the reason government ignores the people whenever complicated regulatory challenges arise.
          Anderlan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mylexicon
          Wow, dude, "fulcrum". Bottom line, very, very few people are getting near the advertised Ford MPG. Isn't happening for Prius or Prius Plugin. I smell a company man throwing easy blame on the gub'mint!
          mylexicon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mylexicon
          I am interested in being represented by a government that has the regulatory competence to keep companies in line, and disseminate good information to the public. I am not interested in imbeciles who allege nationalistic hypocrisy, and who believe that government criticism is a conspiracy perpetrated by 'company men'. I'm even less interested in uneducated buffoons who think that empirical confirmation of the EPA test is proof that the EPA test always works. Any graduate of the eighth grade should not make such mistakes, particularly when the methods for gaming fuel economy tests have been known since Toyota first gamed the Japanese 10-15 cycle. The EPA test is more rigorous; therefore, more difficult to beat, but the technology is now available.
          Anderlan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mylexicon
          I mean, whether or not Ford flubbed the tests or the tests are naturally flubbed, Ford is selling something base on an MPG which most people are finding very hard to achieve. This can't be said for Toyota or Chevrolet or Honda hybrids. DEAL WITH IT.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Anderlan
        Very true Anderlan. The system needs to be fair & equal across the board.
        brotherkenny4
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Anderlan
        People who buy hyundais are not as deeply emotional about their cars as Ford owners, who other than VW owners may be the most loyal and what I would call manipulated. I have a hyundai and get 36mpg on average for a car that has a combined EPA of 27. You see it depends on your commute and how you drive. On the otherhand, my decision to buy hyundai was based more on the reliability and the better warrantee and the lower cost than mileage issues. I actually assume all car manufacturers lie about the EPA numbers and that this attack is the democratic administrations attempts at protectionism. They can't pass any laws preventing them from doing business here, but they can harass the foriegners. The backlash is that the administrations favorite baby (ford) gets called on the carpet too, because everyone knows this administration favors them. Hey, if we had a republican president would the Volt be selling better? Absolutely, because instead of being the enemy of freedom and choice, it would be touted as the car that will free us from our dependence on foriegn oil. You know, what the republicans used to pretend they wanted before there was a black democratic president (excuse me, I mean a nigerian muslim socialist president), and before anyone thought the PHEVs might actually work. Ah, for the good ol days when hydrogen was the fuel of the future and always would be the fuel of the future. It's far easier to support something that will never work than to destroy something that does work. Makes the GOPers look a little unamerican. Of course, and most would agree, the dems look a little inept with these fakey attacks on foriegn companies. They're probably correct though, in that the US companies can't compete and so need special help.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well at this point it doesn't matter because the automakers have proven they cannot be trusted. The EPA needs to test every car themselves instead of just accepting the numbers from the car companies. This is just another example of how 'self-regulation' just cannot work when the rewards from cheating are so large.
        mylexicon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        What is the benefit of self-regulation? The costs are borne by the manufacturers, and they have to figure out how to pass the costs along to consumers. If discrepancies arise between the EPA and real-world figures, the company is liable for any mistakes or cheating. Where are the rewards you speak of? The test works well for conventional ICE gasoline engines. The Hyundai situation is noteworthy b/c the manufacturers do not routinely game the system on a wide scale, and Hyundai were induced by the specter of achieving the 40mpg threshold in the era of $4 gasoline. Both 40mpg and $4 gasoline are recent phenomena. The EPA test does not work well for advanced powertrain vehicles, which means consumers are relying on manufacturers to lie about their actual EPA test scores so that the EPA figures are a more accurate reflection of real world driving. As I explained before, this is an unrealistic expectation according to decision theory. If the manufacturers are misrepresenting their EPA scores to make the EPA numbers look relevant, what is the point of the EPA test? The EPA need to fix the test so it works for all modern hybrids. Relying on the manufacturers to downgrade their EPA scores is not a solution. Administering the test at EPA HQ is not going to change the results.
          mylexicon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mylexicon
          @ Spec Hyundai are obviously going to get hammered, and the EPA are not in a rush to levee a fine b/c they only need to get an admission of guilt. After guilt is admitted publicly, they let consumers devalue the brand, and they let the class action lawyers do the rest. This is the 21st century. You don't win by cheating. Cheating is for amateurs like the people at Hyundai. You win by beating regulators at their own game. Changing the test venue isn't going to make it less embarrassing for the EPA. The EPA have a responsibility to put good information into the public domain. If the EPA numbers for the latest-gen hybrids are bunk, the EPA need to re-engineer the tests to make them accurate. As I have said before, this situation underscores the woeful lack of adaptability in government. Who discovered the problem? The private sector media. Who has better mpg numbers for C-Max and Fusion hybrids and plug-ins? Private sector media. The government has a responsibility to protect their own sovereignty. They have failed. Fix the problem, or let the private sector media take care of information distribution. The EPA can't make a power grab using their own incompetence as justification.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mylexicon
          What are the rewards? Billions more in car sales! Hyundai sold a LOT of cars based on their 40+MPG claims. And what is this liability for any mistakes or cheating that you speak of? I have yet to see any company punished. I seriously doubt any punishment from the EPA will be more than a minor slap on the wrist.
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mylexicon
          Having the manufacturers pay for the EPA testing seems like a pretty simple thing. Just charge them for the service the same amount they would have paid to do the test themselves. Solved.
      • 1 Year Ago
      The cause and solution are rather simple: EPA must change the reg to standardize the OEM compliance and EPA audit tests for repeatability and replicability. Causes include human test driver accelerator movement that conserves or wastes fuel: when OEM skilled test drivers drive on the dyno they are smooth and stay on the regulation's curve; when EPA test drivers (or competitors) drive they are far more erratic and waste fuel. Modern fuel systems are VERY sensitive to even minimal pedal pumping. The EPA cooling fan output is fixed and doesn't change with dyno speed. This is illogical and cooling fans used by OEMs vary output correctly corresponding to speed. This has a measurable effect. After dyno test setup, the vehicle battery should be fully charged. Setups drain the battery and the alternator output charging a "setup drained" battery negatively affects fuel economy. There are other quirks in the test. Solution: robotic control of the dyno test cycles so the regulation's curve is closely followed with no pedal pumping, speed matched cooling fan output, start test with fully charged battery, fix the other quirks. The notion of conspiratorial malfeasance is cute but fixing the test is the serious solution. The EPA guys in Ann Arbor are competent professionals and they can fix the problem. As far as the crazy notion that the sticker values must match the public's expected mileage: ask a female friend why she can't reliably buy clothes over the internet...the female proportions will never match the test mannikin...and we drivers will never replicate the driving signature of any dyno test.
        Alfonso T. Alvarez
        • 1 Year Ago
        Um, there are no 'skilled' test drivers on dynos, either at the OEM's or at the EPA. This is all done via computer control. The EPA spec's require specific temp/humidity - and yes, the road load specifications require that the dyno's simulate the drag from air, the changes from level ground to hills, etc. Hyundai/Kia simply got caught - there is no other explanation since they have been doing this testing per the EPA specs for years. Until we hear what the EPA testing of Ford's vehicles results are, it is pure conjecture that Ford took similar 'liberties' with the standard EPA test specs.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Alfonso T. Alvarez
          You are 100 % wrong. Educate yourself.
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