Hyundai is, understandably, "very confused by the fine and the different results."

The South Korean government is investigating Hyundai and Ssangyong, alleging that the two manufacturers overstated the fuel economy figures on some of their crossovers. But while the initial investigation is being carried out by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, a separate branch of government, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy is supporting the manufacturers' estimates. See Americans, our government isn't the only dysfunctional one.

The two vehicles that have raised the ire of the transport authorities are the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Ssangyong Korando Sports. Allegedly, the two vehicles overstate their mileage by as much as eight percent. Provided the claim proves true and the two manufacturers are found to have been exaggerating their vehicles' fuel efficiency, Hyundai could be open to fines of as much as one billion Korean won ($985,000 at today's rates). Ssangyong could be facing a smaller punishment of just 200 million won ($197K).

In its own testing, meanwhile, the Industry of Trade, Industry and Energy has found that the fuel economy stated by Hyundai and Ssangnyong and the results of internal testing were within the margin of error, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, which cites government sources.

Hyundai is, understandably, "very confused by the fine and the different results," the company said in a statement acquired by WSJ. Hopefully, the South Korean government can get its ducks in a row and figure out just who is in the wrong here.

It's worth noting that this isn't Hyundai's first brush with fuel economy overstatement issues. Autoblog regulars will likely remember that Hyundai Motor America endured down a costly and embarrassing fuel economy scandal of its own back in late 2012, and in March of this year, the automaker had to restate efficiency figures on its Korean domestic market Sonata.


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  • 26 Comments
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 5 Months Ago
      Nice to see any all manufacturers deliberately misleading their customers get called out (the fines are a joke), but the public (PR) damage to the brand and trust of consumers is not - it'll effect the bottom line. Eventually the manufacturers (some already do) will wise up and give consumers accurate numbers….
      churchmotor
      • 5 Months Ago
      Oh Lordy, Hyundai lies continue. Any top executives quit over this one?
      Revis Goodworth
      • 5 Months Ago
      Knowing how clueless Americans drive their vehicles at speeds in excess of 10 mph over the speed limit - racing to stoplights - carrying several fat Americans and so much junk in the car's trunk, I don't see how you can fine any car company for fuel economy claims. Should Ford get a bonus for me being able to trump the EPA ratings just by driving my car at speed limit and thinking while driving? Start fining the drivers for their pathetic conduct!
        owen brown
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        So you are the fool who drives under the speed limit in the fast lane?
          RyanC
          • 5 Months Ago
          @owen brown
          No, he is the minority who actually follows the law and uses common sense where applicable. Weaving in and out of traffic and endangering other people's lives in the process to get yourself to your destination 3 minutes quicker is ridiculous. I personally drive the speed limit (or with the flow of traffic to a point) and stay to the right, making sure to allow people to merge onto the freeway and generally drive in a way that prevents road rage, much the same as I'd guess Revis does...
          b.rn
          • 5 Months Ago
          @owen brown
          RynaC, If you're following the flow of traffic as you describe, than the majority do not behave as you describe. If they did, there wouldn't be a "flow".
      Hal
      • 5 Months Ago
      Cheap brands do cheap things.
        r_dezi
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Hal
        Ya right.... speakin of cheap Hal, GM has been recalled a million times, so many times that I can't count ... Hyundai makes good cars for the money ...
        r_dezi
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Hal
        Chickens don't reply I guess.
      Ducman69
      • 5 Months Ago
      I can understand Americans being appalled, but what are Koreans themselves acting surprised about? The powerful Korean families that run business in the country have been dishonest since day one.
      thecommentator2013
      • 5 Months Ago
      There's no such thing as a cheap Hyundai.
      United
      • 5 Months Ago
      So Hyundai is having the SAME problem as FORD who already got caught multiple times in the past for overstating their fuel economy... & also got caught again recently recently for overstating their fuel economy on their hybrids, Fiestas, C-MAX, MKZ, etc... & had to apologise & compensate it's customers.... Seems like Hyundai is having the SAME problem as FORD & other manufacturers like Toyota & GM, etc..who also had to readjust their fuel estimates recently & in the past...
        Shawn
        • 5 Months Ago
        @United
        I love it when Hyundai idi...uh...owners get on here and do their best to justify their poor purchase decisions...makes my day!
          United
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Shawn
          I love it when "idi...uh"... haters like 'Shawn' get on here & do their best to bash Hyundai & Hyundai owners but fail all the time..... because I don't own a Hyundai.... Who is the real "idi...uh" now? LOL
        b.rn
        • 5 Months Ago
        @United
        Yep, but Hyundai does it on a larger scale so they get more attention.
          United
          • 5 Months Ago
          @b.rn
          @ b.rn No. Hyundai does not do it on a bigger scale or get more attention. Overstating of fuel by other brands were all reported in the same way. It's just that you are a Hyundai hater, & the only thing that comes into your eyes are things negative about Hyundai... poor you^^
      2 wheeled menace
      • 5 Months Ago
      Oh wow; in South Korea, auto companies actually get fined for lying. Fancy that
        United
        • 5 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Oh wow; in the United States of America, auto companies actually get fined for lying. Fancy that .... (...the whole world's reaction to yet another incident in which FORD gets caught again for overstating their fuel estimate & having to apologise & compensate all their customers who were deceived...)
      Joeviocoe
      • 5 Months Ago
      In this game of market share for the 'highest MPG in its class'.... Lying is profitable. The fines are small compared to the profit margins gained from the buyers who were just looking for the 'highest MPG' and believed the advertised number.
      MechE
      • 5 Months Ago
      The amount of those fines is a joke.
      landypd5
      • 5 Months Ago
      Cutting corners...not good sir.
      goodoldgorr
      • 5 Months Ago
      What? They drive crossover in korea, this is stupid as petrol is 100% imported. Do like I told years ago buy and drive slowly small Hyundai accent.
        Sahngseok Lee
        • 5 Months Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Because of that, almost all crossover cars in Korea have diesel engines. It's far more fuel efficient than gasoline engine. And it's the reason why American cars are not selling well in Korea. Only Ford is doing better than other American makers because Ford makes European-like cars with diesel engine. If it's not diesel or hybrid, no car can sell well.
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