2012 Kia Soul Eco - profile view

According to a report from Reuters, South Korea's government has drafted strict new rules for automakers to follow when calculating fuel economy. The legislation comes after a major snafu by Hyundai and Kia that resulted in the automakers lowering the estimated fuel mileage of many popular models – some by several miles per gallon, including the Soul subcompact above – and compensating owners in the US and Canada for the reduction.

The new fuel economy rules were announced by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in South Korea and will see average mileage ratings drop by roughly three to five percent, according to the report. In addition, manufacturers found guilty of overstating mileage figures will be liable for fines of up to $900,000.

These sweeping new regulations will go into effect in the second half of 2013 and, while they won't have any effect on EPA estimates for Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the United States, they are expected to result in new ratings for the two automakers in their home market of South Korea, where they enjoy a whopping 70-percent market share.