|October 27, 2016
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced a $41.2 million multistate settlement with automakers Hyundai and Kia to resolve claims that the companies misrepresented the mileage and fuel economy ratings for some of their model year 2011, 2012 and 2013 vehicles. As part of the settlement, Florida will receive more than $2.4 million. The Hyundai Motor Company, Hyundai Motor America, Kia Motors Corporation, Inc., and Kia Motors America, Inc. settled with 33 states and the District of Columbia. The multimillion dollar settlement concludes a multistate investigation into the companies' business practices relating to fuel economy estimate adjustments that occurred at a time when gasoline prices in the United States were especially high.
“Consumers expect that the information they receive when buying a car is accurate and reliable,” said Attorney General Bondi. “Thanks to the joint efforts of my office and 33 other attorneys general, consumers are now better protected.”
State and federal law set limits on emissions from vehicles sold in the United States. Before vehicles may be offered for sale in the country, auto manufacturers must conduct testing under mandatory protocols set by government regulators and use the resulting data from that testing to support applications demonstrating their vehicles' conformity to those standards.
In November 2012, after information revealed that the companies overstated the fuel efficiency of certain vehicles, Hyundai and Kia announced they were adjusting and restating the fuel economy ratings for certain model year 2011, 2012 and 2013 vehicles. The complaint alleges that Hyundai and Kia incorporated the inflated and inaccurate data into the estimated mileage ratings displayed on the window stickers of hundreds of thousands of cars in Florida and across the country. Additionally, the companies allegedly sought to capitalize on the erroneous mileage estimates by prominently placing the estimates in a variety of advertisements and other promotional campaigns.
According to the complaint, these actions likely meant to mislead consumers and played a material role in consumers' decisions to purchase particular vehicles during a time of high gasoline prices. Attorney General Bondi alleged that the companies violated Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
In addition to Florida, participants in the settlement include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.