Hyundai and Kia MPG Scandal: Most Overblown of 2012
Like many other outlets, were looking back on the year that is about to conclude. It has been an interesting one. With the horsepower wars appearing to subside, and the crossover sales battle soldiering on, it appears that this year is setting us up for 12 more months of the status quo. There were a few outliers that made headlines, and my were they interesting. Perhaps the most overblown was that of Kia's and Hyundai's misstated fuel economy ratings. They really have little, if any, effect on the actual driving experience of the car, and is the biggest non-story that news outlets picked up. The news outlets did this because they are sensationalist assholes who would rather scare the shit out of you than convey a sensible story. So, if you recall. Kia and Hyundai were blasted for posting "Best-in-class" fuel economy of 40 MPG for several models. In reality cars like the Hyundai Accent, Veloster, Elantra, and others were only achieving 37 or 38 MPG, based on the model. They caught a ton of flak for it and have now sent out gas cards to over 900,000 owners. This is ridiculous.
The reason it is absurd, is because rumors are afoot that the EPA was tipped off by one of the American automakers. You know, the same American automakers that used to combine retail sales and fleet (rentals/police/municipal) sales in an attempt to show better sales numbers than the competition. If anyone has mud on their face when it comes to fudging the numbers, its the Big Three.
Moreover, Kia and Hyundai did no outwardly cheat, as much as they "Studied to the Test." They developed vehicles that would achieve optimal fuel economy in the specific conditions of the EPA test cycle. Frankly, no one gets as good fuel economy as the sticker says, and Kia/Hyundai were killed for it. The Korean automaker duo still makes terrific cars, and the need to eek out a few MPG is indicative of a buying public that shops based on the numbers, rather than finding a car based on a holistic approach, where all factors of the car are considered. In the end, blame yourselves America– without your terrible buying methods, Kia and Hyundai would not have needed to cheat. Now go think about what you've done.