• Image Credit: Hyundai
  • Image Credit: Hyundai
  • Image Credit: Hyundai
  • Image Credit: Hyundai
  • Image Credit: Hyundai
  • Image Credit: Hyundai
  • Image Credit: Hyundai
  • Image Credit: Hyundai
  • Image Credit: Hyundai
  • Image Credit: Hyundai
  • Image Credit: Hyundai
  • Image Credit: Hyundai
Stop us if you've heard this one before: Hyundai is going to have to reduce the officially announced miles-per-gallon number for its 2014 Sonata. While there's a lot of similarity between this new situation and events that transpired in 2012, there are some important differences. For one, the new mileage mistake, which Hyundai says was once again caused by an error at its test centers, is only applicable to cars in the Korean Domestic Market. Secondly, it's not so much mpg as kilometers per liter.

"We are very sorry for causing confusion to reporters" - Hyundai

According to Reuters, the numbers for the Korean Sonata were originally announced as 12.6 kilometers per liter (29.63 mpg), a six-percent increase over the previous model. The automaker has just announced that government verification showed an actual result of 12.1 kpl (28.46 mpg), which is only a two-percent increase. Since these numbers were done using the South Korean economy test, they are not equivalent to the US EPA numbers, the latter of which say the 2014 Sonata gets 36/40/38 miles per gallon. The correction came before the new Sonata went on sale in South Korea. In an official statement, Hyundai said, "We are very sorry for causing confusion to reporters." Hyundai Motor America's Jim Trainor, product public relations senior group manager, assured AutoblogGreen that the Korean error will have "no effect" on US ratings.

In 2012, Hyundai and Kia faced a media and consumer firestorm after being caught up in exaggerated mileage claims for vehicles like its 2013 Accent, Veloster and Elantra. The sister companies agreed to compensate buyers to the tune of $395 million for what they said were "honest mistakes" and "human error" during in-house fuel economy tests. There is no word yet on whether similar customer satisfaction actions will follow this domestic market snafu.


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  • 43 Comments
      FIDTRO
      • 11 Months Ago
      So either Hyundai engineers lied--again--or they still haven't learned how to do math properly. What a garbage company.
      SloopJohnB
      • 11 Months Ago
      Reporters need to read the fine print and not just grab numbers and publish them so that another set of 'reporters' can holler 'gotcha.' It looks like Hyundai is is just being nice in an Asian sort of way. They know who really screwed up in reporting and mischaracterizing data.
        Alfonso T. Alvarez
        • 11 Months Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        It looks like Hyundai messed up again and tried to get away with it AGAIN! There is no excuse for doing this yet again ... sorry
        Aaronm_mt
        • 11 Months Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        Say what KnightFlight_6?
      wave9x
      • 11 Months Ago
      Typical Korean company trying to get away with shady business practices.
      • 11 Months Ago
      Hyundai and Kia are not the only companies that misstate the gas MPG, I purchased the 2011 GMC Terrain as a new vehicle I was told I would receive highway mileage of 32 miles per gallon, the best mileage I ever received in the past two years 25,000 miles since I own this vehicle is 24 miles per gallon on the highway, far below the stated 32 miles per gallon, my inquiries into this problem was met with skepticism from the dealership and corporate headquarters at GMC, I was told things like you have to break the vehicle in first you need to have 15,000 miles on the car before it starts getting the stated mileage. After talking to others who have the same vehicle it's obvious the gas mileage was misstate the,The only reason why General Motors gets away with this is because it is a car made by an American company and they're in bed with the federal government Kia and Hyundai paid a high penalty for the same kind of misrepresentation.
        Billy Lthr
        • 11 Months Ago
        Ford is onew of thwe biggest offenders in the wrong MPG statements! Their hybid do not get anywhere as close as claimed! I think toyota and Honda m,ight be the only 2 who get close to the MPG they claim! I still take a GMC over a ford any day! My parents had 3 fords, all junk 86 aerostar, 89 taurus and 93 ranger ! All were junk and had parts falling off them! I had 3 gm products, 98 cavalier z24 , 2003 cavalier and 2012 GMC Sierra, all much better then ford junk and all 3 got the claim mpg, my truck is 18 highway, i can get 22 easy on the highway!
        Alfonso T. Alvarez
        • 11 Months Ago
        Nonsense - we have gotten up to 27-28 MPG on trips with my wifes CUV with the 3.6. It is rated at 24 MPG Hwy. It all depends on how fast you drive (73-74 for us due to numerous speed traps) the weather - cross winds or headwinds reduce fuel economy, cold weather and the winter blend gas also reduce fuel economy and of course the area you drive in - mountains and very hilly areas obviously affect this as well. Fill up the tank on a mild day, drive for a couple of hours without heavy traffic on fairly level ground and you will achieve the 32 MPG. And no, a 32 MPG rating doesn't mean you will get 32 MPG ALL THE TIME on the highway, your mileage may vary is a truism!
      manure
      • 11 Months Ago
      I hope this statement does not seem undesirably prejudiced, but I've known a number of people from Korea and worked closely with them over some years. Koreans check the math obsessively. They don't make math errors. I'd accept almost any explanation, except for that one.
      Aaronm_mt
      • 11 Months Ago
      Weird, where in NightFlight in this thread?
      Actionable Mango
      • 11 Months Ago
      I've noticed that Hyundai's and Kia's "honest mistakes" and "human error" are always favoring the mileage instead of hurting it. Contrast that to BMW, whose i8 model was expected to have 94 MPGe, but as we get close to delivery time it has been revised UPWARD to 112.
      Karfreek
      • 11 Months Ago
      I hate it that my Accord says 34 hwy on the sticker but can get 36-37hwy on long 200+ mile trips. It makes me furious!!!!
        b.rn
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Karfreek
        I'd be furious too. Your 4 cylinder Accord doesn't do much better than my 6 cylinder Taurus.
          b.rn
          • 11 Months Ago
          @b.rn
          The SHO is a different beast. It has a lot more power. It's performance oriented. It's AWD. Your friend probably drives it like the performance machine it is.
          Karfreek
          • 11 Months Ago
          @b.rn
          Sorry, my bad. I talked with him today. He said the best he got was 23 hwy on a trip. He could have had a V8... Just for the record my 6-Speed Challenger had no problem getting 26 hwy calculated on 300mi trips to Buffalo.
          Shawn
          • 11 Months Ago
          @b.rn
          Sounds like Ford needs to dump all those ecoboost 4-cylinders in the Fusion and other vehicles and put what ever is in your Taurus in those vehicles instead.
          b.rn
          • 11 Months Ago
          @b.rn
          churchmotor, I sometimes wonder that. I could have paid more for a 2.0L ecoboost, but my 3.5L gets the MPG that Ford says the ecoboost wold give me. The main reason I went with the 3.5 is that I wanted something that had been around for a while. I don't trust them fancy turbos. :)
          Karfreek
          • 11 Months Ago
          @b.rn
          Lol. Coworker has a SHO he states gets 28hwy with a tailwind going down hill.
      ccweems
      • 11 Months Ago
      The engine management systems now recognize when they are subject to a testing profile and switch many engine and transmission characteristics so that under the "Testing Map" they will get the best mileage. They can't use the Testing Map for everyday use because it is likely to deliver poor performance and drivability and would likely give poor performance at high or low temperatures because it has been optimized for the standard conditions that the tests are performed under. The Europeans are having far greater problems with test vs. actual mileage than we are. Why not allow the manufacturers to use any documented test method to specify the mileage as long as they make a demo available with the same engine with a SAE qualified fuel consumption meter? That way if you are determined to get 40mpg you take out the demo (I didn't say free) for an extended ride and see what you get. Keep score (imagine TG celebrity lap times) and see how often others were able to get the rated mileage. You could include the amount of time at WOT (wide open throttle) and such to identify those who were trying to get the worst mileage possible. Consistent discrepancies between the published and demo results will have some effect. One thing that will happen is that there will be reduced complaints by those who feel that they were mislead. There will be one serious penalty assessed to those who attempt to build special cars for demo testing. For myself I miss the advertisements doing real world comparisons between competing models. While I didn't have much faith in the mileage numbers I did believe that the relative comparisons would hold true on my home turf. I think much of the current problems are attributed to drivers who do not appreciate the often bizarre tactics that are used by the hyper milers. While Hyundai has been in hot water over quoted mileage I expect many of the non-diesel models quoting 40+ mpg have unhappy owners that don't come close to the quoted figures. The only ones that are happy are the diesel folks but I expect that they are more willing to go 65mph for hours on end just to beat the factory numbers than the rest of us.
        Joeviocoe
        • 11 Months Ago
        @ccweems
        The EPA 'should' switch to randomly selecting cars that are being sent to dealerships.
      James John
      • 11 Months Ago
      Translation: WE LIED
        Joeviocoe
        • 11 Months Ago
        @James John
        better to ask for forgiveness after the fact, than to deal will lower sales because the competition is also lying.
        NICE FOCKING CAR
        • 11 Months Ago
        @James John
        Tiburon horsepower numbers anyone? At least it didn't make it so far as for a class action lawsuit to be created (and awarded) like last time. haha
      djrroar1
      • 11 Months Ago
      I am about to make a very general statement. My wife is involved in conducting business all over the world, 29 countries to be exact. She has told me many times that the Koreans are the most difficult country to work with, you cannot trust anything they say.
        b.rn
        • 11 Months Ago
        @djrroar1
        You're only allowed to make negative general statements about the United States. /s
      mawhalen53
      • 11 Months Ago
      The real question is why it's so difficult for government agencies to project realistic and consistent fuel economy figures. 38 mpg in the US, 28.46 in Korea?
        Card13
        • 11 Months Ago
        @mawhalen53
        I would assume it's related to the typically more congested cities overseas. Their city cycle could be really harsh.
        davebo357
        • 11 Months Ago
        @mawhalen53
        Yeah, our EPA rating system is completely unrealistic for real-world driving, but it's the biggest thing you see on the sticker so manufacturers gear transmissions and tuning specifically for it, then people complain the cars don't get anything like that in regular driving. I don't know what the Koreans are doing but if a 38mpg car is only getting 28 in their test, it must be some teenager putting the hammer down through an autocross course. Actually that does sound more like real world driving.
          The Wasp
          • 11 Months Ago
          @davebo357
          I was going to say it seems like the KDM test may be the most realistic of all. US EPA ratings are pretty optimistic and EU and Japanese ratings are wildly exaggerated. A small dose of reality would be refreshing when it comes to MPG numbers.
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