WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - An Environmental Protection Agency test for Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America found discrepancies between their results and data submitted by the company.
As a result, the EPA announced on Nov. 2 that Hyundai and Kia will lower their fuel economy estimates for the majority of their models for 2012 and 2013.
The largest miles per gallon change is for the Kia Soul with a six mpg adjustment. Most vehicle label mileage will be reduced by one or two mpg. Cars currently on dealer lots will be re-labeled with new window stickers reflecting the corrected mileage estimates, according to the plan the auto companies have submitted to the EPA.
The EPA routinely tests vehicles at its National Vehicle and Fuel Emission Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich. To ensure vehicle performance matches, the mileage and emissions data required to be submitted to EPA by automakers 150 to 200 vehicles, which is about 15 percent, are tested.
The EPA conducts random and targeted audits based on certain factors, such as consumer complaints.
The audits help to ensure that vehicles on the road meet emission standards to protect public health and the environment. Also, it is important all carmakers follow the same procedures for calculating mileage estimates, the EPA says.
After the EPA received a number of consumer complaints about Hyundai mileage estimates, staff experts observed discrepancies between the EPA testing results and the information provided to EPA by Hyundai regarding their 2012 Elantra.
The investigation for other Hyundai and Kia vehicles is expanded, according to the EPA.
Only two times since 2000 has the EPA's audit testing revealed incorrect mpg vehicle labels. This is the first case where a large number of vehicles from the same manufacturer have deviated so significantly, the EPA said.
"Consumers rely on the window sticker to help make informed choices about the cars they buy,' said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "EPA's investigation will help protect consumers and ensure a level playing field among automakers."