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Hyundai Reaches $41.2 Million Settlement for 2012 Fuel Economy Scandal

Four years ago, Hyundai was found to have overstated the fuel economy ratings for 35 percent of the vehicles the South Korean manufacturer sold in the U.S. from late 2010 through October 31, 2012. After a heck of a long time since the scandal broke out, the automaker finally agreed to pony up $41.2 million.
Hyundai Elantra 6 photos
Photo: Hyundai
Hyundai ElantraHyundai ElantraHyundai ElantraHyundai ElantraHyundai Elantra
But first, a brief refresher of what happened on November 2, 2012. On that fateful day, Hyundai Motor America (and Kia, for that matter) came clean about exaggerating the fuel economy ratings for approximately 900,000 vehicles from the 2011 to 2013 model years and sold in the United States.

Hence, both automakers were forced to reduce their fleet fuel economy level by an average of 3 percent. More to the point, from 27 mpg to 26 mpg. "I sincerely apologize to all affected Hyundai and Kia customers, and I regret these errors occurred,” said W. C. Yang, CTO of Hyundai's R&D department.

After the damage was done and the correction was made, the United States legal system then reaped the gains of this mess-up because no one and no company is above the law. And so, here we are today. The $41.2 million mentioned before were settled as a result of the relentless legal action taken by the Attorneys General of 33 States and the District of Columbia.

According to Hyundai, the agreement “contains no admission of any wrongdoing or violations of any law.” In other words, Hyundai got out of the mess scot-free, albeit $41.2 million shorter on cash. At the end of the day, though, it should be noted that this wrongdoing pales in comparison to the world-encompassing Dieselgate emissions scandal, which saw the Volkswagen Group pay up $14.7 billion to settle the 2.0 TDI issue in the United States.

“Even with our adjusted ratings, we are encouraged that Hyundai continues to lead the automotive industry in fuel efficiency and environmental performance,” said David Zuchowski, the CEO of Hyundai Motor America.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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