Hyundai and Kia may have gotten lots of bad press for inflated fuel economy ratings, but the on-the-ground reality isn't all that bad. Automotive News says that dealers have been pleased at how the parent companies have handled the November scandal and the reimbursement programs are making customers happy and them back in the door.

Hyundai and Kia issues apologies for inflated fuel economy ratings on 13 nameplates from the 2011-2013 model years, which accounted for about 900,000 sold vehicles. Owners are being reimbursed for the "extra" gasoline they'll need to buy for as long as they own the vehicles.

The automakers have provided dealers with cash to help pay for gifts or other goodwill-related charges to please affected car owners. Hyundai and Kia dealers have been very active in the process – lavishing owners with apologies, free service and car washes. The charm offensive is working: reports say dealers have seen very little backlash. This meshes well with what we heard during the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, when Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik said about 90 percent of owners were happy with the reimbursement program.

One thing that has gone over especially well has been the debit cards. Owners were told to go to their local dealerships for mileage audits. After the audits, they received debit cards in the mail from Hyundai or Kia. Consumers can return to their dealerships for subsequent mileage checks in order to recharge their debit cards. Dealers are happy, too. "I'm thrilled with any program that brings customers back," Don Hobden, executive manager of six Kia dealerships in Alabama, Indiana and Kentucky, told Automotive News. "Some customers are actually reacting with some form of delight: 'Really? I'm getting a debit card?' It's been really well received."


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      Crownie
      • 1 Year Ago
      Meh. Own an Elantra coupe. Hate the gas mileage, but gotta take the good with the bad. I'm over it.
      BYALTF
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nice! When I complained about my Chevy getting 20% less than the EPA sticker, my dealer said I was lucky to get that good, and that the sticker says your mileage may vary. Going to other dealers and writing to GM did do any good either. I wish I had received some compensation, or at least an apology or some sympathy.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BYALTF
        What is the betting Ford match GM for customer 'service' rather than Hyundai when their ludicrous mileage claims are finally nailed?
          Spiffster
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          You so you know that they cheated on their EPA tests? Last I heard was that they were working with the EPA to refine their procedures so estimates fro hybrids are more accurate.
          Luc K
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          Hyundai indeed cheated and had to lower their MPG ratings. 'Accidentally' they did the test incorrectly. EPA investigated Ford claims and so far haven't found anything. And if you check Fueleconomy.gov you see several people beating Ford Fusion EPA highway rating but not with the Elantra old ratings. Many people are claiming Ford is like Hyundai which is simply not true (at least not at this point). The distinction should be made here.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Humans are bad at math. It is easy to trick them.
      Spiffster
      • 1 Year Ago
      WTF, where is my 50 bucks Hyundai? I have not received anything for the 2012 Elantra that we used to own. (which got crappy gas mileage BTW) I know $50 isnt much, but its the principal of the matter. I received an email, filled out the online form, havent heard anything since then. Seriously... WTF.
        Spiffster
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spiffster
        OK, after I completed the form I got an email that said to look out for a follow up email. Never got that follow up, but going to the website, looks like I can grab the form now.
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spiffster
        @ Spiffster , Emails about $50 for a car you used to own ? I think you have too much time on your hands.
        Spiffster
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spiffster
        Like I said Marco... 50 dollars isnt much, its the principal of the matter. Why dont you go out and buy a Hyundai for 20k, only to find it gets shi+ gas mileage after the fact (among other issues). Must be nice to judge others based on your outside looking in perspective.