Hyundai has been busted over performance claims before
November 6, 2012
by Mark Rechtin
It was revealed Friday that Hyundai Motor and its Kia Motors affiliate had overstated mpg ratings on 900,000 vehicles.
And it was not the first time Hyundai has been caught in its own false claims.
In 2002, Hyundai admitted that it had overstated horsepower ratings on 1.3 million vehicles. At the time Hyundai said it would make compensation payments of between $76 million and $127 million, while plaintiffs' lawyers projected the actual payout would be closer to $30 million.
Consider this: Back in the 1990s, before Hyundai had a reputation for quality, it was selling a lot fewer vehicles, many of which were seen as wheezy donkeys. So the automaker banked on horsepower.
Hyundai vehicles suddenly found buckets of power in its wee engines, gaining 5 or 10 hp that hadn't existed before. The engines jumped to the head of their competitive classes. Horsepower became a key refrain in Hyundai advertising.
Then came the hammer. The EPA busted Hyundai for overstating horsepower on six vehicles spanning up to 11 model years. Ratings on some six-cylinder models were off by as much as 20 hp. Hyundai claimed the too-high numbers stemmed from improper testing procedures.
So, back to 2012.
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