Hagens Berman: New Lawsuit Filed against Hyundai and Kia over Mileage Issue
Approximates Basic Economic Damage at $775 Million
Attorneys describe automakers’ reimbursement program as a “runaround to avoid
paying what’s due”
SEATTLE -- November 07, 2012
Hagens Berman, a consumer-protection law firm with extensive experience
litigating automotive defect and liability cases yesterday filed a second
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),
illustrating how owners and lessees are allegedly harmed by proposed
reimbursement programs for overstated mileage estimates.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Central
California, challenges the automakers’ proposed reimbursement scheme for
owners and lessees. The companies have announced they intend to reimburse
owners for the difference in the companies’ reported fuel economy rating and
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating based on local fuel prices
only, but with no reimbursement after a vehicle’s sale date.
To receive the proposed reimbursement, Hyundai and Kia owners would be
required to visit a dealership to verify mileage and thereafter fill out
“claim forms” every year to recover what the lawsuit alleges could plainly be
determined right now.
The complaint claims that the economic harm suffered by Hyundai and Kia buyers
could easily approach $775 million dollars. Rob Carey, attorney for the
plaintiffs, noted that these programs create obstacles that will make it
unnecessarily difficult and time-intensive for consumers to collect the modest
sums owed to them for increased fuel costs.
“We think Hyundai’s program falls well short of making this right for
consumers,” said Carey. “Making owners bring their cars in for an odometer
check and forcing them to reapply every year for monies due today are enacted
purely to shirk financial responsibility.”
According to Carey, the companies also refuse to pay for the reduced value of
the vehicles if sold or traded in. “To be sure, new buyers know the corrected
MPG, so they aren’t harmed,” said Carey. “But now that the lower MPG rating is
public, current owners will face a definite drop in the value of the car when
trying to sell it or trade it in. Leaving this loss out of the equation is
just plain wrong.”
The lawsuit 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.
Hyundai admitted it overstated the fuel-economy estimates on Nov. 2, 2012,
after independent tests by the EPA showed a discrepancy.
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 suit was brought on behalf of 23 Hyundai and Kia owners who allege they
suffered economic losses.
The suit contends that Hyundai violated California’s Unfair Competition Law;
its false advertising law, and its Consumer Legal Remedies 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
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. They can also email the firm at
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
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.