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EPA still angry at Hyundai-Kia over adjusted MPG numbers

Hyundai-Kia may very well be the most fuel efficient major automaker in America. Yet, the EPA will not let them have the title. Here's why.

The EPA is still mad at Hyundai-Kia based on our reading of a recent study published by the EPA. The study ranks major automakers in the US based on their fuel efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions per mile driven. There are twelve major automakers in the US including Hyundai-Kia. However, only eleven make the ranking, and Hyundai-Kia is relegated to a footnote. This is despite the fact that Hyundai-Kia may, in fact, have the best scores of all automakers in the US market. So what gives?

Hyundai-Kia “Adjusted MPG Numbers”
A couple years back Hyundai had a little problem with consumers and the EPA. Consumers reported that they were not getting the fuel efficiency they expected based on the EPA estimates that Hyundai had come up with. What many people do not realize is that almost all the “EPA Estimates” published on the window stickers of cars, in automaker’s literature, and even on the EPA’s website fueleconomy.gov, are actually calculated by the automakers themselves. EPA tests some cars itself, but those make up a small percentage of the many models offered in the market. There is an honor system of sorts used to report fuel efficiency. When the EPA looked into the issue customers reported it became apparent something was amiss. It hit the fan; Hyundai-Kia sent customers money, and it then “adjusted” its mileage figures to smooth things over with the EPA.

EPA Snubs Hyundai-Kia
In the new report EPA has a small asterisk that leads readers to this statement “Hyundai and Kia are not included in this table due to a continuing investigation. In November 2012, Hyundai and Kia corrected fuel economy labels for many vehicle models. Based on these corrected data, Hyundai’s values are … 29.0 mpg and 306 g/mi for MY 2013. “

If these values shown in the footnote are accurate, then Hyundai-Kia is the leading major automaker in the US in terms of fuel efficiency and CO2 levels. It is also the only automaker to have ever reached an adjusted average of 29 MPG.

Draw your own conclusions about the Hyundai scandal. What seems apparent to us is that whatever happened, the EPA has not forgiven Hyundai-Kia for it.

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