Hyundai and Kia announce settlement of gas mileage class action

February 28, 2014 by

Fotolia CarHyundai Motor America announced that it has entered into an agreement with current and former owners and lessees of vehicles affected by the automaker’s November 2012 restatement of fuel economy ratings.

The adjustment affected approximately 27 percent of Hyundai 2011-13 model year vehicles, reducing their combined city/highway fuel economy by 1-2 mpg. While the settlement agreement is valued at up to approximately $210 million, that number is dependent on how many customers elect to participate in the settlement’s one-time lump sum payment option or remain in the lifetime reimbursement program Hyundai introduced at the time of the restatement.

At the time of the restatement in 2012, Hyundai provided a lifetime reimbursement program to cover the additional fuel costs associated with the rating change – plus a 15 percent premium in acknowledgment of the inconvenience to customers. Affected owners and lessees are compensated based on their actual mileage and the fuel costs for the region in which they live.

To address plaintiffs’ claims including the requirement to return to a dealership for mileage verification, which plaintiffs felt could deter participation in the reimbursement program, Hyundai agreed to add a lump sum payment option. The proposed cash lump sum amount, which varies by vehicle model and ownership type, will result in an average estimated payment of $353 to Hyundai owners and lessees. For example, an owner of a 2012 Elantra would receive a lump sum payment of $320 minus any previous reimbursement payments. Affected Hyundai owners may elect the one-time lump sum cash payment or remain in the automaker’s lifetime reimbursement program; the choice is theirs. Consumers can also elect other options, such as a dealership credit of 150 percent of the lump sum cash payment amount, or a credit of 200 percent of the cash amount toward the purchase of a new Hyundai vehicle.

The Court is expected to review the proposed settlement for preliminary approval in early 2014. Assuming preliminary approval is granted, notices will be sent to individual class members. Initial details of the settlement are available now at www.hyundaimpginfo.com. A more in-depth website dedicated to the settlement will be established following preliminary approval by the Court.

Steve Larson
An experienced trial lawyer who handles both hourly and contingent fee cases, Steve has expertise in class actions, consumer cases, antitrust litigation, securities litigation, corporate disputes, intellectual property disputes, unfair competition claims, employment matters, and disputes involving family wealth. Steve regularly represents individuals and businesses in federal and state court and has obtained class-wide recovery in multiple class actions. A veteran practitioner, Steve's clients value his creative approach to resolving complex litigation matters.

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