Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

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Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby theholycow » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:21 am

http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/3/71517 ... violations

Hyundai/Kia will have to pay $100 million in fines, publish new more realistic data, and be audited continuously for a couple years after massaging tests and test data and cherry-picking results to publish. There has been some talk of this for a few months now, that they've been gaming their EPA fuel economy testing, now it's confirmed.
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Re: Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby AHTOXA » Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:08 pm

I saw that 2012 Soul is on the list of affected vehicles. When I had mine, it was capable of getting advertised MPG. Not to say that this proves or disproves anything...
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Re: Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby Rope-Pusher » Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:49 pm

This is another FINE mess you've gotten me into, Stanley!
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Re: Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby potownrob » Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:27 am

i think the real question is where does that $100 million go??
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Re: Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby IMBoring25 » Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:42 am

AHTOXA wrote:I saw that 2012 Soul is on the list of affected vehicles. When I had mine, it was capable of getting advertised MPG. Not to say that this proves or disproves anything...


Not only is the Soul listed as affected...It's the example of the most egregious overstatement, 6 MPG. Everyone always complains they don't get the EPA mileage when they don't drive the EPA cycles...Now that's going to be used as justification to investigate methodologies, cherrypick findings, and extort money...

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Re: Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby Shadow » Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:05 am

IMBoring25 wrote:Not only is the Soul listed as affected...It's the example of the most egregious overstatement, 6 MPG. Everyone always complains they don't get the EPA mileage when they don't drive the EPA cycles...Now that's going to be used as justification to investigate methodologies, cherrypick findings, and extort money...



I'd hardly call it extortion. Fact of the matter is that, for the most part, manufacturers are left to their own devices when it comes to stating fuel economy figures. Sure, they have to "follow" the EPA guidelines, but it's not like the EPA itself is performing fuel economy tests, then publishing the numbers. From what I've read,the EPA does occasionally do their own testing and will only intervene if they come up with numbers that are far from the manufacturer's numbers.

In a case like this one, an overwhelming majority of owners found that they were not getting anywhere near the stating fuel economy. Here's the rub: auto manufacturers aren't stupid. They know that this is the information age. They know that it's easier than ever for people to communicate with one another through various different platforms. They know that auto forums exist and sites like fuelly.com. So it stands to reason that they know a firestorm will eventually start when they drastically overstate their fuel economy numbers. This is especially true when you're talking about lower end brands whose owners are typically even more concerned about fuel economy than the "average" driver. So the real question then is why would they do that? I suspect the reason is to increase sales. High fuel economy figures lure buyers, especially in that segment. If they overstate the numbers and sell a bunch of cars in the meantime, maybe they felt that it would be worth paying the fines and the bad PR that would eventually follow. Who knows? That's why I think that a large fine is necessary to discourage manufacturers from doing the same thing again. Something needs to be done to keep the manufacturers honest.
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Re: Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby AHTOXA » Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:07 am

I just want to point out, Shadow, that the average buyer is just as concerned with MPG as the "lower end" buyer.

In the last 5 years or so, the econobox concept has mostly gone away. There are still cheap cars, but they aren't penalty boxes, and there is a shift for people to buy smaller. Before, to have creature comforts you wanted in a car, you had to buy a larger car. Today, that's not necessarily the case. You can now get amenities not previously available in the compact class/subcompact class, and people see no need to buy larger. They get the amenities they want and the increase in gas mileage (usually) by going to a small vehicle.
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Re: Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby Squint » Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:51 am

AHTOXA wrote:I just want to point out, Shadow, that the average buyer is just as concerned with MPG as the "lower end" buyer.

In the last 5 years or so, the econobox concept has mostly gone away. There are still cheap cars, but they aren't penalty boxes, and there is a shift for people to buy smaller. Before, to have creature comforts you wanted in a car, you had to buy a larger car. Today, that's not necessarily the case. You can now get amenities not previously available in the compact class/subcompact class, and people see no need to buy larger. They get the amenities they want and the increase in gas mileage (usually) by going to a small vehicle.

Yeah, you can get a midsize sedan (think Fusion, Camry, Passat, etc...) from almost every brand that will get you over 30 mpg on the highway (if not closing in on >40) and be in the mid 20s/30 mpg combined city/highway driving. If vehicles like that are getting close-ish fuel economy to the cheaper vehicles (say upper 20s city, upper 30s/40 highway, low 30s combined), the argument that they are econoboxes disappears - they just become cheaper, smaller vehicles.

I do agree with Shadow that the size of the fine seems to be trying to keep the manufacturers honest.
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Re: Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby Shadow » Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:12 pm

AHTOXA wrote:I just want to point out, Shadow, that the average buyer is just as concerned with MPG as the "lower end" buyer.

In the last 5 years or so, the econobox concept has mostly gone away. There are still cheap cars, but they aren't penalty boxes, and there is a shift for people to buy smaller. Before, to have creature comforts you wanted in a car, you had to buy a larger car. Today, that's not necessarily the case. You can now get amenities not previously available in the compact class/subcompact class, and people see no need to buy larger. They get the amenities they want and the increase in gas mileage (usually) by going to a small vehicle.


I mostly disagree. I do agree that there is a greater overall concern with fuel economy in general, but that much is obvious as gas prices have elevated rapidly over the last few years. But still, I think people who buy Hyundias & Kias are generally more concerned with fuel economy than the buyer of an "average" car. By average, I mean in size and price. And certainly much more so than people who buy luxury cars and/or SUVs. Point is, Hyundai & Kia are two manufacturers that had little chance of getting away with fudging their fuel economy numbers because their buyers are focused on fuel economy.
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Re: Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby AHTOXA » Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:59 pm

An average car is your Camry, Accord and Altima. Kia Optima, for example, competes with them directly, and efficiently, too.

Hyundai and Kia aren't the sub-prime, no-credit-no-problem dealer special that you indirectly imply, by stating that their customers are more financially-strained as they are more concerned with fuel consumtion. The average buyer that looks at the Accord and the Camry and the Altima most likely will at least consider the Optima.
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Re: Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby Shadow » Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:26 pm

AHTOXA wrote:An average car is your Camry, Accord and Altima. Kia Optima, for example, competes with them directly, and efficiently, too.

Hyundai and Kia aren't the sub-prime, no-credit-no-problem dealer special that you indirectly imply, by stating that their customers are more financially-strained as they are more concerned with fuel consumtion. The average buyer that looks at the Accord and the Camry and the Altima most likely will at least consider the Optima.


I wasn't implying that at all. So Kia sells the Optima. Great. They also sell tons of compacts and small crossovers as well. You're also ignoring the fact that Kia, on average, is quite a bit less expensive than your average Camry or Accord. A girl I know bought an Optima and loves it. She commented that she really wanted a new Accord, but went with the Optima because of the price. I'm quite sure lots of people do exactly the same. Those are the people who are more concerned with money (meaning purchase price and fuel economy) than "average" buyers.

Face it, Kia is still considered a "low-end" brand, despite having a fairly nice vehicle line-up. And people who buy low end are in fact more concerned with fuel economy than the average new car buyer.
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Re: Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby Squint » Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:52 pm

Shadow wrote:Face it, Kia is still considered a "low-end" brand, despite having a fairly nice vehicle line-up. And people who buy low end are in fact more concerned with fuel economy than the average new car buyer.

KIA is definitely still in the lower tier of car brands, but I wouldn't say that people who are trying to spend a few grand less on the car are more concerned with fuel economy. If that were the case, none of them would buy an Optima - which gets worse fuel economy than almost every other major brand's midsize sedan. Now, those differences are minor, but your average person doesn't spend the time to calculate out exactly what savings 2 mpg brings them over an average year of driving.

And an Optima starts about the same as a Sonata (which gets pretty good reviews) and not significantly less than either an Accord or a Camry (<$1,400 difference from base MSRP from a Camry and <$600 difference from base MSRP from an Accord).
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Re: Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby AHTOXA » Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:46 pm

I think that vast majority of people who buy an appliance vehicle are concerned with fuel mileage, and appliance vehicle is your average vehicle, based on sales. Buyers of trucks, SUVs and lux entry/lux class also value higher MPG, but maybe less so. On the main auto forums, there are constant threads of "which car should I buy", and no matter the class, fuel consumption comparison withing class competitors is always present. Always.

Bottom line is, I don't think any manufacturer was more or less liable to get away with inflating the MPG ratings.
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Re: Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby Shadow » Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:33 pm

Squint wrote:KIA is definitely still in the lower tier of car brands, but I wouldn't say that people who are trying to spend a few grand less on the car are more concerned with fuel economy. If that were the case, none of them would buy an Optima - which gets worse fuel economy than almost every other major brand's midsize sedan. Now, those differences are minor, but your average person doesn't spend the time to calculate out exactly what savings 2 mpg brings them over an average year of driving.

And an Optima starts about the same as a Sonata (which gets pretty good reviews) and not significantly less than either an Accord or a Camry (<$1,400 difference from base MSRP from a Camry and <$600 difference from base MSRP from an Accord).


That's exactly why I'm talking about brands, not models. I'm not sure how the focus went right to the Optima. Take the average purchase price of all Kia vehicles and I'm quite sure that number would be far less than than average purchase price of Toyota or Honda, for example.

But the point still remains that people who buy lower end cars are, on average, more concerned with fuel economy than people who buy "average" cars. I'm not sure why that's so hard to understand. I'm actually not even sure why we're debating something so obvious.

Personally, I don't give a rat's ass about fuel economy. I just purchase a new Jeep that is horrible on gas. It's not as horrible as my 4Runner was, so I guess that's a step in the right directions, but the truth is that I'm simply not very concerned about fuel economy at all.
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Re: Hyundai/Kia fined for misstated fuel economy/emissions

Postby Shadow » Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:43 pm

AHTOXA wrote:I think that vast majority of people who buy an appliance vehicle are concerned with fuel mileage, and appliance vehicle is your average vehicle, based on sales. Buyers of trucks, SUVs and lux entry/lux class also value higher MPG, but maybe less so. On the main auto forums, there are constant threads of "which car should I buy", and no matter the class, fuel consumption comparison withing class competitors is always present. Always.


You're missing the point entirely. Of course fuel economy is always an overall concern. But it's not nearly the concern among, say, people who buy a Range Rover, as it is for people who buy a Kia Soul. So if Land Rover fudged their numbers and Kia fudged theirs by the same percentage, do you really think Range Rover owners would be upset about it to the degree that the Kia owners would be? Surely you're not trying to tell me that, right?

What is your feeling on fuel economy? I know that you've owned everything from your current fuel sipper to a Wrangler and a GTO, so does fuel economy really matter to you? I have a feeling that fuel economy has always mattered to you, but you're a car guy, so you dealt with having cars that burn through a lot of fuel, even though you wanted to be more economical. In the end, you're probably much more comfortable with a car that is great on gas, which is probably why you're driving the car you have now. For me, that would never happen because I honestly don't care about gas prices, so I'd never have any real reason to buy a car in that class. And that's not to say it's all about fuel economy either. If I found a car that looked great, drove great, and also happened to get great fuel economy, I'd buy it and like it. But none of the cars that interest me are anywhere near fuel sippers. My Audi is probably the most fuel efficient car I've ever owned in my entire life.
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