A class-action lawsuit against Hyundai Motor America currently in the courts alleges that because Hyundai overstated fuel economy ratings for many of its cars, customers chose to make purchases or paid a price they might not otherwise would have. Owners of affected models are automatically eligible for financial reimbursement.
Hyundai Motor America and its corporate cousin Kia released a statement in November 2012 lowering the official Environmental Protection Agency fuel efficiency ratings, sometimes by several miles per gallon, for the majority of models the South Korean brands sold at the time. The automakers blamed the error on an incorrect fuel economy testing regimen that they said inadvertently did not comply with official EPA standards.
Hyundai attempted to be proactive about addressing the issue by offering those who bought the affected cars its Lifetime Reimbursement Program, periodically depositing cash on a debit card to make up for the money that would not have gone to gas if the cars had achieved their original advertised ratings. Owners were required to contact a local dealer for odometer readings in order to verify the amount they had driven.
For a group of owners in California, the program was not sufficient. They filed a class-action lawsuit stating that the Lifetime Reimbursement Program did not adequately or conveniently compensate them for a perceived financial loss. Hyundai negotiated a new settlement, offering a single lump sum payment that would compensate all owners, unless they opted out, and protect the company from further litigation. As of June 2015, all parties are awaiting the court's final approval of the settlement terms, but the deadline to opt out has passed.