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Hyundai is nearing settlement on inflated fuel economy litigation

February 27, 2013|By Jerry Hirsch
  • Hyundai is close to settling litigation over fuel economy claims for the Elantra, shown here, and other vehicles.
Hyundai is close to settling litigation over fuel economy claims for the…

Hyundai Motor America is inching closer to a settlement of claims it inflated the fuel economy ratings of its vehicles.

Details of the deal are still to be worked out, but the automaker is expected to reach a settlement in 38 lawsuits on the fuel economy mislabeling, which have been combined and are being heard in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Its corporate sister, Kia Motors America, is expected to also settle the litigation.

Photos: Vehicles with overstated fuel economy claims

In November, the South Korean automakers said they overstated the fuel economy on nearly 1 million late-model vehicles after the discrepancy was discovered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which monitors the fuel economy tests by automakers.

The car companies said they would issue owners special debit cards to reimburse the extra money they are paying for fuel. But some consumers objected and a series of lawsuits seeking class-action status were filed against the automakers.

Hyundai and Kia blamed “procedural errors” at joint testing operations in Korea for the problem. They share automotive components and testing facilities.

Overall, they had overstated fuel economy ratings for about 900,000 vehicles, or 35% of the 2011-13 model year vehicles.  The Hyundai vehicles include the Accent, Elantra, Veloster and Veloster Turbo, Sonata Hybrid, Azera, Genesis, Tucson and Santa Fe Sport.

Kia vehicles affected include Rio, Sportage, Sorento, Soul and Optima hybrid.

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