The connected South Korean companies are vowing to increase their fleetwide fuel economy by 25 percent by 2020, Reuters reports. This will be done by further advancing their powertrains, looking at other ways to reduce weight, upgrading diesel engines and improving transmissions. That will all take money, but Kia and Hyundai will have $300 million less to invest thanks to a recent fine of more than $300 million from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Justice and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for incorrect fuel economy numbers on around 1.2 million vehicles from the 2011-2013 model years. The civil penalties – $100 million of the total – are the largest in EPA history. In late 2012, Hyundai and Kia admitted to overstating the fuel economy of a number of models and said they'd change the official MPG figures and compensate owners.
Hyundai spokesman Chris Hosford confirmed to AutoblogGreen that the company set the dramatic fuel-economy improvement targets. In the US, where Hyundai and Kia are operated as separate entities, Hyundai "remains committed to meeting the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) requirements that have been set out by the US government," Hosford said
The EPA recently released a report on fuel-economy and put Hyundai fourth in overall fleetwide fuel economy in the US among vehicle makers for the 2014 model year. The top three were Mazda, Honda and Subaru.