Hagens Berman: Consumers Sue Kia, Hyundai over Fudged EPA Ratings
SEATTLE -- November 03, 2012
Today, the consumer-rights law firm Hagens Berman filed a proposed
class-action lawsuit against Hyundai Motor America, owned by Hyundai Motor
Company of Korea (KSE:005380.KS), and Kia Motors America, owned jointly by
Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motor Company of Korea (KSE:000270.KS), after
regulators announced the companies overstated the fuel economy for many
vehicles they sold in the United States.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Central
California, seeks to represent all consumers who own or lease Hyundai and Kia
vehicles whose EPA fuel economy ratings were less than the fuel economy rating
produced by the applicable federal test in that model’s year.
Hyundai Motor Corporation admitted it overstated the fuel-economy estimates
after independent tests by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed a
According to published reports, Hyundai will lower fuel-consumption estimates
on most Hyundai and Kia models produced in 2012 and 2013. It will reportedly
lower estimates by as much as five miles-per-gallon for its Kia Soul Eco, and
by one or two miles-per-gallon for most other models.
The automaker apologized to consumers, according to published reports, and
blamed the issue on what the South Korean company called “procedural errors”
in its testing, which was done by a Korean lab.
“Many who purchased Kia and Hyundai automobiles did so because of the claims
of fuel economy the company made to consumers,” said Rob Carey, the attorney
representing the proposed class and managing partner of the Phoenix office of
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.
“Regardless of how the errors occurred, the end result is the same – consumers
overpaid for what they received, and a very slight difference on the low-end
of fuel efficiency can make a big difference over the course of a year,” Carey
Hyundai also announced plans to reimburse purchasers through a complex plan
requiring owners to visit a dealership to verify mileage. The company intends
to reimburse owners for the difference in the company’s reported fuel economy
rating and the EPA rating based on local fuel prices.
“While we think there are some laudable aspects to the company’s approach to
addressing the issues, we feel that consumers have rights under California law
not yet addressed by the automakers,” Carey added.
The suit was filed for a Seattle woman who purchased a 2012 Hyundai Accent; an
Arizona man who purchased a Hyundai Genesis sedan; an Arizona woman who
purchased a Hyundai Genesis sedan; and an Illinois man who purchased a 2012
Kia Sorento, all relying on the fuel-economy numbers provided by the car
The suit contends that Hyundai violated California’s Unfair Competition Law,
its false advertising law and its consumer legal remedy act. The suit also
claims that Hyundai committed a breach of express warranty, and committed
fraud and negligent misrepresentation under California Common Law, among other
Hagens Berman has a long, successful record of representing consumer interests
in litigation against Hyundai.
Individuals who purchased a 2012 or 2013 Hyundai or Kia vehicle are encouraged
to contact Hagens Berman to discuss the case. Consumers can contact an
attorney by calling (206) 623-7292 or by emailing email@example.com.
More information about this lawsuit is available at
About Hagens Berman
Seattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is one of the top class-action
law firms in the nation, with offices in ten cities. Founded in 1993, we
represent plaintiffs in class actions and multi-state, large-scale litigation
that seek to protect the rights of investors, consumers, workers and
whistleblowers. More information about the firm is available
Firmani + Associates Inc.
Mark Firmani, 206-443-9357
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