N.J. to Receive $1.66 Million from Settlement with Hyundai, Kia Multi-State Settlement Resolves Allegations of Inflated Fuel Economy Claims
TRENTON – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced today that New Jersey will receive $1.66 million as part of a multi-state settlement with auto makers Hyundai and Kia that resolves allegations the two companies misrepresented the fuel economy ratings for some of their vehicles.
The overall $41.2 million settlement -- involving 33 states and the District of Columbia -- concludes a multi-state investigation into the business practices of Hyundai and Kia relative to fuel economy estimate adjustments for certain of their model year 2011, 2012 and 2013 vehicles. The fuel economy estimate adjustments took place at a time when gasoline prices in New Jersey and across the U.S. were especially high.
New Jersey was part of the multi-state Executive Committee that negotiated the settlement with Hyundai and Kia.
“Hyundai and Kia overstated the fuel economy of their cars at a time when that information – how far a particular vehicle could travel on a tank of gas – was foremost in the minds of many auto buyers,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Businesses that are selling products have a duty to provide consumers with clear, accurate and reliable information about those products. Our commitment is to ensure they do just that, and to hold accountable those who don’t.”
State and federal law sets limits on emissions from vehicles sold in the U.S. Before vehicles may be offered for sale, auto manufacturers must conduct testing under mandatory protocols set by government regulators, and use the resulting data to support applications demonstrating their vehicles' conformity to those standards.
In November 2012, Hyundai and Kia announced they were adjusting and restating the fuel economy ratings for certain model year 2011, 2012 and 2013 vehicles after it was revealed the companies had overstated the fuel efficiency of certain models.
States participating in the investigation alleged that Hyundai and Kia incorporated inaccurate and inflated data into the estimated mileage ratings displayed on the window stickers of hundreds of thousands of cars sold in New Jersey and across the country. The states also alleged that Hyundai and Kia sought to capitalize on the erroneous mileage estimates by placing them prominently in a variety of advertisements and other promotional campaigns.
Relative to both alleged actions, the states maintained that Hyundai and Kia’s misrepresentations were likely to mislead consumers and materially influence their decision-making when shopping for particular vehicles during a time of high gas prices.
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Koziar of the Division of Law’s Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section and Division of Consumer Affairs Investigator Todd Applegate handled the matter on behalf of the State.
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