Frequently Asked Questions

What matter did Hyundai settle?

Hyundai has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) to resolve the government’s investigation of our 2012 restatement of fuel economy ratings. The adjustment affected approximately one-quarter of Hyundai 2011-13 model year vehicles, reducing their combined city/highway fuel economy by 1-2 miles per gallon. We are pleased to put this behind us, and gratified that even with our adjusted fuel economy ratings, Hyundai continues to lead the automotive industry in fuel efficiency and environmental performance.

Did Hyundai admit any liability in settling with the government?

No. Hyundai denies the allegations in the government’s complaint, and does not admit any associated liability to the United States or CARB. We maintain our full and continuous compliance with the Clean Air Act and California Health and Safety Code as it pertains to coastdown testing procedures.

What is Hyundai’s position on the fuel economy regulations at issue? On the EPA’s fuel economy testing?

Hyundai’s process for testing the fuel economy of our vehicles was – and is – consistent with government regulations and guidance, which have always afforded broad latitude to vehicle manufacturers in determining test conditions, enabling for example testing anywhere in the temperature range of 41-95 degrees and tires to be broken in without specifying how or on what type of surface beyond “a smooth level road.” Outside of a data processing error related to the coastdown testing method by which Hyundai calculated resistance or “road load,” it was Hyundai’s regulatory interpretation within this broad latitude that was responsible for the ratings restatement. Hyundai has corrected the error, and the EPA in October 2012 approved the automaker’s new fuel economy testing program.

Learn more about the fuel economy testing process.

Do the changes in Hyundai’s fuel economy ratings mean higher emissions? What is the environmental impact of Hyundai’s reduced fuel economy ratings?

This is an administrative or reporting settlement. There is no environmental impact resulting from Hyundai’s fuel economy ratings restatement, and we will continue to hold a surplus of GHG credits – approximately 20 million – following implementation of this settlement. To compensate the national program to reduce GHG emissions and improve fuel economy, Hyundai will amend the GHG reports we submitted to the EPA before understanding that our interpretation of industry test procedures differed from the government’s reading of the same procedures. (Learn more about GHG emission credits.) Even with our adjusted fuel economy ratings, Hyundai continues to lead the automotive industry in fuel efficiency and environmental performance. According to the EPA Fuel Economy Trends Report, Hyundai’s adjusted fuel ratings are 27.2 mpg for 2011, 28.3 mpg for 2012 and 29.0 mpg for 2013 model year vehicles. Similarly, the Union of Concerned Scientists recently named Hyundai the "Greenest Automaker" for the 2013 model year based on emissions of nitrogen oxide, non-methane organic gas and CO2.

What are the terms of the settlement agreement?

As part of the agreement, Hyundai will pay a $56.8 million civil penalty, forgo the use of approximately 2.7 million greenhouse gas (GHG) emission credits—the credits representing the difference between original and restated emission data—and continue to implement a series of measures including the formation of an independent certification test group to oversee our fuel economy testing, training, data management and reporting. Additionally, Hyundai will continue to audit model year 2015-16 vehicles to confirm the accuracy of their fuel economy ratings.

What government agencies are involved in the settlement?

Hyundai has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) to resolve the government’s investigation of our 2012 restatement of fuel economy ratings.

The U.S. Department of Justice is involved, so is this criminal?

No, this is a civil matter. Hyundai has acted transparently, reimbursed affected customers and fully cooperated with the EPA throughout the course of its investigation.

Why did Hyundai execute a consent decree with the government?

The consent decree was a requirement of settlement. Importantly, Hyundai’s process for testing the fuel economy of our vehicles was—and is—consistent with government regulations and guidance, which have always afforded broad latitude to vehicle manufacturers in determining test conditions. Learn more about the fuel economy testing process.

How has Hyundai changed its fuel economy testing, especially as it relates to coastdown?

Importantly, Hyundai’s process for testing the fuel economy of its vehicles was – and is – consistent with government regulations and guidance, which have always afforded broad latitude to vehicle manufacturers in determining test conditions, enabling for example testing anywhere in the temperature range of 41-95 degrees and tires to be broken in without specifying how or on what type of surface beyond “a smooth level road.”  Outside of a data processing error related to the coastdown testing method by which Hyundai calculated resistance or “road load,” it was Hyundai’s regulatory interpretation within this broad latitude that was responsible for the ratings restatement. Hyundai has corrected the error, and the EPA in October 2012 approved the automaker’s new fuel economy testing program, which includes EPA’s preferred practices such as breaking in tires on public roads as opposed to on a test track and conducting testing within a broader temperature range. Learn more about the fuel economy testing process.

Is Hyundai confident in the fuel economy numbers that have been certified for its model year 2015-16 vehicles?

Yes. Nonetheless, Hyundai will continue to audit model year 2015-16 vehicles to confirm the accuracy of their fuel economy ratings.

Are customers impacted by Hyundai’s settlement with the EPA and CARB?

No. Customers affected by Hyundai’s fuel economy ratings restatement still have two reimbursement options available to them: the one-time lump sum payment made available through the recent class action settlement or Hyundai’s original lifetime reimbursement program. Learn more about these reimbursement options here.

Is the settlement of Hyundai’s fuel economy-related class action in any way affected by this settlement with the government?

No. Customers affected by Hyundai’s fuel economy ratings restatement still have two reimbursement options available to them: the one-time lump sum payment made available through the recent class action settlement or Hyundai’s original lifetime reimbursement program. Learn more about these reimbursement options here.

Has the Court approved the fuel economy-related class action settlement that was announced in December?

Yes, the Court granted preliminary approval of the settlement on August 21, 2014. Learn more about the available reimbursement options here.

Does Hyundai recommend customers take the lump sum reimbursement payment or remain in the original lifetime reimbursement program?

Each customer must decide which of the two options is best for them because individual circumstances and needs differ. Factors an affected owner might want to consider would include how much they drive, how long they plan to own their vehicles and the convenience with which they can visit their Hyundai dealer for mileage verification. Learn more here.

How is fuel economy regulated in the U.S.?

Fuel economy is regulated through the disclosure of data that applies to the car manufacturer’s fleet and to the individual vehicles themselves.

At the corporate level: First enacted in 1975, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) are regulatory standards intended to improve the average fuel economy of cars and light trucks (trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles) sold in the U.S. Historically, it is expressed in miles per US gallon (MPG) of a manufacturer’s fleet of current model year passenger cars or light trucks, weighted by sales.

At the vehicle level: The “Monroney sticker” (or window sticker) is a label required to be displayed in all new automobiles sold in the U.S., and includes the listing of certain official information about the car. Since the mid-1970s, EPA has provided fuel economy metrics in the label to help consumers choose more fuel efficient vehicles. A more comprehensive fuel economy and environment label, beginning in model year 2013, includes more information relating to alternative fuel-powered vehicles. Other information provided for the first time includes greenhouse gas and smog emissions ratings, estimates of fuel cost over the next five years, and a QR Code that can be scanned by a smartphone to allow users access to additional online information.