DETROIT, Michigan — Hyundai and sister Korean company Kia will pay the US government a penalty equivalent to R1.1-billion to end a two-year investigation into "overstated" fuel consumption claims on about a third of its vehicle products.
WRONG FUEL DATA: Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia have been hit with the largest Clean Air Act violation in US history for overstated fuel-consumption advertisements. Image: Hyundai
The civil penalty is the largest yet for a Clean Air Act violation in the US. Neither automaker admitted liability.
The discrepancy was discovered after the US Environmental Protection Agency received complaints that real-life fuel consumption was higher than that advertised for Hyundai's Elantra. Audits discovered overstated fuel economy on the Elantra and other models from 2011 into 2013.
COMPLIED WITH THE LAW?
Hyundai says it made honest mistakes in interpreting complex EPA fuel-consumption test requirements. Neither company admitted liability; both maintained they complied with the law.
Generally, EPA tests claimed, fuel consumption was understated by 0.5-0.8km/litre averaged over 13 vehicles. One car, however, advertised consumption 2.5-litres/100km lower than that achieved when tested by the EPA.