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An EPA investigation revealed Kia had overstated the fu... An EPA investigation revealed Kia had overstated the fuel economy of the Kia Soul by 6 MPG in highway driving. (Photo courtesy Kia).
After revealing they had exaggerated fuel-economy claims on approximately 900,000 vehicles in November, Hyundai and Kia rolled out a gift-card program to compensate customers for their extra gas expenses.

Unsatisfied with that compensation, at least 32 customers have filed lawsuits against the South Korean automakers.

A panel of special court judges met last week in Orlando, Florida to determine whether the lawsuits should be centralized in a Southern California federal court. Their decision is expected in a few weeks.

Consumer Watchdog, a consumer organization based in California, is arguing the cases should be centralized there because both automakers, as well as several defendants are based there.

"In situations like this--where a company has misled customers and undermined competition in the automobile marketplace on a national level--the most effective way to make sure Hyundai and Kia customers get their day in court is to consolidate litigation in a single court," said Harvey Rosenfield, a lawyer in the case and founder of Consumer Watchdog.

His organization has been a leading critic of Hyundai. Last January, Consumer Watchdog called for Hyundai to suspend advertisements that claimed its Elantra sedan achieved 40 miles per gallon, then petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to re-check the vehicle.

Based on that complaint and others, the EPA investigated and found the Korean automakers had overstated the fuel efficiency of several vehicles by as much as 6 miles per gallon. Hyundai and Kia said the overstatements came as a result of a faulty test and were not intentional.

Fuel economy has become a top concern of car buyers in recent years, so both car makers and car buyers have paid closer attention to the accuracy of MPG claims.

In December, Consumer Reports found the fuel-economy claims of the Ford C-Max Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid were significantly lower than the 47 MPG claims touted by the automaker. The consumer magazine reported actual results were lower by 21 percent and 17 percent, respectively. The EPA is investigating.

Pete Bigelow is an associate editor at AOL Autos. He can be reached at peter.bigelow@teamaol.com and on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



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  • 38 Comments
      Greg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Of course the gas mileage was less then reported. The EPA doesn't conduct the tests by measuring the gallons of gas used to travel a certain amount miles. They analyze the gases produced from the exhuast of the vechicle while it sits and runs at a set speed on rollers. Then they estimate your mileage from what was in the exhaust gases. Not very realistic!
      • 2 Years Ago
      How do I get my share of this. I signed up for the stupid gift card thing months ago and Ive still never received anything.
      Hi ya Dale!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Do any cars get the mileage the manufacturer claims? I have a 2012 Chevy Equinox that's supposed to get 32 MPG on the highway. The best I got on a long drive so far has been 26.5. Checking various websites not one person with an Equinox is getting the mileage they're supposed to get. If the auto manufacturers use some sort of optimum conditions that should be indicated. What specific speed? Wind conditions? Using absolutely nothing electric?
      cbsguards
      • 2 Years Ago
      This type of Corp irrelevance is a bigger issue than just MPG positions. the need for consumer protection continues to show in many ways like this and yet the REP Party wants to dismantle the Consumer Protection program so their Corp sponsors can continue to abuser the US consumer
      chanonissan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think hyundai say the customers were happy with their gas card, well I guess not.
      yoonwolf
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hyundai Accent is the most efficient car!
      ga7smi
      • 2 Years Ago
      EPA estimates - anyway the Koreans have always overstated mileage - I'd still buy one - very good affordable autos
      Mike
      • 2 Years Ago
      I smell an obozo motors trying to make the competition look bad.Very good automobile I will buy a new one when the 100,000 mile warranty runs out on my KIA Forte
      Tim
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm confused. Doesn't the EPA test these cars and require the manufactures to put that information on the Monroni stickers?
      rob
      • 2 Years Ago
      Our 2011 Ford Escape hybrid has consistantly exceded Fords and the EPA estimates, 26/29mpg. After 69000 miles we still realize a solid 32.5 mpg in the summer. dropping to 28.5 in the winter. Im happy to compare our 4 wheel drive suv to any same sized suv on the market...why Ford stopped making this vehicle is beyond me. We came from a vehicle that realized 16 mpg, We have saved considerably more than the $4000 added cost of the hybrid drive. When we compare with like sized non hybrid 4wd suv's, we average 6+ mpg better fuel economy. We will have recouped our "hybrid" upcharge by this spring, with plenty of life left in the car.
      vocalist
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have a 2005 Saturn Vue....it has a Honda 3.5 V6,,,and gets 24 hwy if the a/c is off....2 cars ago, I had a 97 Jeep Cherokee with I think a 3.7 straight 6....it would never get more than 16 mpg. The coolest thing about the vue....not that I am a lead foot, but that engine has 295 hp and is faster than it would seem....you can easily pass anything, at any speed. It's virtually the same as an Equinox.....and it's a good enough car, that I'd buy one again....well, the Chevy....as you know, no more Saturns. I recently tried out the smaller Prius...it drove way better than a corolla, and wasn't as tinny...but the built in realtime mileage indicator would not exceed 36 mpg....no matter what....well, at least 40 cars on the market get that or more.....the dealership could offer no explaination, as the other ones on the lot were the same....34-36....city or hwy.
      mkelly1059
      • 2 Years Ago
      Like I said I didn't expect to get 35, would have been satisfied with 30, had Honda Civic before, was rated 38MPG highway I actually was getting 40MPG highway, so go figure. Should Hyundai be guilty of fraud? I think so.
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