Hyundai-Kia ended up with a lot of kimchi on its face in 2012 when it admitted it had mistakenly exaggerated fuel economy estimates on several 2012 and 2013 model-year offerings like the Hyundai Accent, Veloster and Elantra and Kia Soul. Before the admission a lawsuit had been filed by an entity called Consumer Watchdog, afterward there were "approximately 53" lawsuits filed in federal court that were eventually consolidated into one case in a California Central District court.

The companies apologized profusely and gave customers prepaid gas cards that they could refill with funds for as long as they own their vehicle, as well as perks like free car washes and routine maintenance services. The company has just announced that it has reached a preliminary settlement of the case by adding another method of reimbursement, a lump sum payment that would free drivers from having to go back to the dealership to have their mileage verified for debit card refills.

Assuming the preliminary agreement is approved by the judge, customers could choose the lump sum or the cards. The settlement's value could be as much as $210 million, but the exact number depends on which program plaintiffs choose. On average, affected customers will receive $353. Approval could come in "early 2014," after which Hyundai will notify customers. Kia's total settlement is valued at around $185 million and its customers will receive $667 on average. You'll find more particulars on Hyundai's potential settlement in the press release below.
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HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA RESOLVES LITIGATION FOLLOWING RESTATEMENT OF FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS

Automaker Provides Alternative Choice of Single "Lump Sum" Payment To Take Care of Affected Owners


ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., December 23, 2013 – Hyundai Motor America today announced that it has entered into an agreement with current and former owners and lessees of vehicles affected by the automaker's November 2012 restatement of fuel economy ratings. The adjustment affected approximately 27 percent of Hyundai 2011-13 model year vehicles, reducing their combined city/highway fuel economy by 1-2 mpg. While today's settlement agreement is valued at up to approximately $210 million, that number is dependent on how many customers elect to participate in the settlement's one-time lump sum payment option or remain in the lifetime reimbursement program Hyundai introduced at the time of the restatement.

"We are pleased with the proposed settlement," said W. Gerald Flannery, general counsel of Hyundai Motor America. "It demonstrates the ongoing Hyundai commitment to taking care of its customers."

At the time of the restatement in 2012, Hyundai provided a lifetime reimbursement program to cover the additional fuel costs associated with the rating change – plus a 15 percent premium in acknowledgment of the inconvenience to customers. Affected owners and lessees are compensated based on their actual mileage and the fuel costs for the region in which they live.

"Customers responded favorably to the original reimbursement program," added Flannery. "Today's settlement is designed to provide them with an option, again intended to make customers fully whole for Hyundai's fuel economy ratings restatement."

To address plaintiffs' claims including the requirement to return to a dealership for mileage verification, which plaintiffs felt could deter participation in the reimbursement program, Hyundai agreed to add a lump sum payment option. The proposed cash lump sum amount, which varies by vehicle model and ownership type, will result in an average estimated payment of $353 to Hyundai owners and lessees. For example, an owner of a 2012 Elantra would receive a lump sum payment of $320 minus any previous reimbursement payments. Affected Hyundai owners may elect the one-time lump sum cash payment or remain in the automaker's lifetime reimbursement program; the choice is theirs. Consumers can also elect other options, such as a dealership credit of 150 percent of the lump sum cash payment amount, or a credit of 200 percent of the cash amount toward the purchase of a new Hyundai vehicle.

"Hyundai's willingness to create a way for its customers to receive all of their future extra fuel expenses in a lump sum shows they are serious about making things right for their customers," said Rob Carey, a Hagens Berman partner working on the case. "Hyundai stepped up – and its customers will now get a full recovery without the inconvenience of repeated dealership visits and paperwork."

The Court is expected to review the proposed settlement for preliminary approval in early 2014. Assuming preliminary approval is granted, notices will be sent to individual class members. Initial details of the settlement are available now at www.hyundaimpginfo.com. A more in-depth website dedicated to the settlement will be established following preliminary approval by the Court.

About Hyundai and Kia Fuel Economy Litigation, MDL No. 2424
Following disclosure of the fuel economy ratings discrepancy in November 2012, approximately 53 federal complaints were filed against Hyundai and Kia and later consolidated (In re: Hyundai and Kia Fuel Economy Litigation, MDL No. 2424) in United States District Court for the Central District of California before Judge George H. Wu.

About Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 820 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully-transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance. Hyundai Assurance includes Assurance Connected Care that provides owners of Hyundai models equipped with the Hyundai Blue Link telematics system with proactive safety and car care services complimentary for three years. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle service scheduling.

About Hagens Berman
Seattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP represents consumers, workers, whistleblowers and investors in complex litigation. The firm has offices in nine cities and has been named one of the top plaintiffs' law firms in the country by the National Law Journal seven times. Founded in 1993, HBSS continues to successfully fight for consumer rights in class-action litigation. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Visit the firm's class-action law blog at www.classactionlawtoday.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 45 Comments
      Black Dyanmite
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Lying about the fuel economy of your cars, just to make a fast buck? How low?!?" - Ford Motor Co. BD
        Kory James
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Black Dyanmite
        Regurgitating the same thing day in and day out, from website to website. "My life is so empty and meaningless." -BD
        merlot066
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Black Dyanmite
        One car was re-rated DB. Shall we go back to the days of the 60 MPG Toyota Prius which only actually got 48 MPG. "If only we could engineer a car without a rubber chicken-and-pinion steering system like Ford. Oh well, let's just floor it in a Camry around a fake roller coaster track. That's fun, right?" -Toyota Motor Corp.
      Ducman69
      • 1 Year Ago
      Accident my ass. Korean companies just doing what Korean companies do, nothing new. They are all run by a handful of powerful politically connected families in S.Korea, and they simply have a totally different ethics culture. Deal with those companies and you won't understand their ridiculous security and trust issues, until you realize that they are based on the fact that they assume everyone else does business just like they would. They knew what they were doing, and even with all the lawsuits its likely helped sell many vehicles that they otherwise wouldn't have, and so the risk still paid off.
        Black Dyanmite
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        Yeah, let's make it a racial thing for the Christmas season? Oh, and Ford has never done the exact same thing? Your ignorance frightens me...... BD
          b.rn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Black Dyanmite
          Not exactly the same. Ford messed up on one vehicle. Hundai / Kia messed up on EVERY vehicle they released over a three year period.
        S40Powered
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        Amen.
      Suavecito
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kimchi? That is racist.
        Gorgenapper
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Suavecito
        Its about as racist as saying that someone ended up with egg on his face. Quit your whining and stop being so thin skinned. Next thing you know, we'll be saying that 'Merry Christmas' is religious oppression - oh wait, that has already happened.
          carmaniac
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Gorgenapper
          FYI Koreans eat eggs too, so that would be fine. I don't see why the author of the article needed to make a racially targeted joke. But again, making fun of Asians in US culture seems to be an accepted practice...
          over9000
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Gorgenapper
          It's like saying that Blacks eat alot of chicken and waffles... do you understand the racial overtones? I'm pretty sure most Asians find it offensive.
          over9000
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Gorgenapper
          Bigotry, racism, whatever... so you're saying that it's perfectly fine by saying something like "African Americans" - note I said African Americans instead of Blacks - had chicken and waffles thrown over their face when a judge decided to sentence a white man free instead of a death sentence? I understand the fact you wanted to divert the fact by being a grammar Nazi but sorry, most (Korean and even Asian) people still find it offensive.
      Jimmy Burton
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think the author Jonathon Ramsey needs an ass kicking for his remark...kimchee in the face huh...well I wish I could see you face to face right now cause I would put my fist on every inch of yours you racist bastard...
        mazeroni
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jimmy Burton
        Kimchi Kimchi, also spelled kimchee or gimchi, is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings. It is often described as "spicy" or "sour". What is racist? Is 'he really took the yolk,' racist? I'm seriously confused about what is racist here. Hyundai is Korean so he localized the food he is familiar with in regards to that region of the world.
          over9000
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mazeroni
          Can you read or are you stupid?
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      "when it admitted it had mistakenly exaggerated fuel economy estimates" I'm sure the only mistake they feel they made was getting caught.
      Max Bullo
      • 1 Year Ago
      This thing has destroyed hyundai/kia reputation (just look at their sales even in europe they're going down) making in the same time the Toyota fortune,again (above all in Europe where they're gaining market share month by month).
      falls.vacuum
      • 1 Year Ago
      KIMCHI ? RACIST ? SO NOW WE CAN'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT ****** ?
      Black Dyanmite
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Yeah, Merry Christmas!" - Hyundai BD
      Robert
      • 1 Year Ago
      RACIST MOTHER F..... AOL, FIRE THIS A-HOLE PLEASE!
        b.rn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Robert
        Apparently, some people try pretty hard to be offended. Life is a lot easier if you don't go around looking for problems where they don't exist.
          Temple
          • 1 Year Ago
          @b.rn
          Well, it seems a lot of Koreans are being offended here, and if they feel its racist, its probably racist. He should have just said a racially-neutral 'egg on their face', and it wouldn't be an issue. Hopefully next time there's a Chinese company being talked about its not 'kung pao chicken on their face', or "Sushi in their face' when talking about Japanese. You know, because that's what they eat, right? And when we talk about Ford we can say say "McDonald's in our face", because Americans are fat and lazy I guess, and that's what we eat.
      over9000
      • 1 Year Ago
      Autoblog is racist
      W.B.H.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I work in the automotive and have plenty of coworkers that have come from both American and Asian OEMs and exaggerating mileage is a very common practice. In fact some manufacturers will put different computers in the cars that are used fro the testing than the ones that are sold to the consumer. However, you will never hear about the U.S. Big 3 in any of this because the media is biased and will not tarnish the image of the U.S. big three.
      zoom_zoom_zoom
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Hyundai-Kia ended up with a lot of kimchi on its face in 2012 when it admitted it had mistakenly exaggerated fuel economy estimates on several 2012 and 2013 model-year offerings" FIXED: "Hyundai-Kia ended up with a lot of kimchi on its face in 2012 when it admitted it had purposefully exaggerated fuel economy estimates on most all 2012 and 2013 model-year offerings"
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