Hyundai, Kia face $775 million suit over mileage claims
November 7, 2012
by Mark Rechtin
Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America have been hit with a second U.S. civil suit seeking class-action status after the companies admitted to making bogus fuel-economy claims.
The latest was Tuesday in U.S. Central District Court in Los Angeles on behalf of 23 plaintiffs. It seeks $775 million in compensation for owners who say resale values have been damaged by the companies’ inflated fuel-economy figures.
The suit states that the proposed debit-card payouts to purchasers of nearly 900,000 Hyundai and Kia vehicles doesn’t make up for the decreased value of those vehicles.
“Plaintiffs and the Class have been damaged by Hyundai’s and Kia’s misrepresentations, concealment, and non-disclosure of the incorrect fuel economy numbers, because they were misled into purchasing Hyundais and Kias of a quality different than they were promised, and paying higher fuel costs they would not otherwise have paid,” the suit says.
Hyundai and Kia’s apologies on Nov. 2 were prompted by a U.S. EPA investigation that found discrepancies between company fuel-economy test results and the agency’s own results. As a result, the companies lowered the fuel-economy ratings for the affected vehicles. On most of them, the ratings fell by 1-2 mpg.
The automakers said the 900,000 vehicles reflected about 35 percent of their combined sales of 2011-13 models through Oct. 31.
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