AG Jepsen: Connecticut Joins $41.2M Multistate
Settlement with Hyundai, Kia over Fuel Economy Claims
Connecticut will receive $1.49M to resolve allegations of state consumer protection law violations
The state of Connecticut will receive $1,490,190 as part of a multistate settlement with automakers Hyundai and Kia to resolve claims that the companies misrepresented the mileage and fuel economy ratings for some of their model year 2011, 2012 and 2013 vehicles, Attorney General George Jepsen announced today.
The $41.2 million settlement between the 33 states and the District of Columbia and the Hyundai Motor Company, Hyundai Motor America, Kia Motors Corporation, Inc., and Kia Motors America, Inc. concludes a multistate investigation into the companies' business practices relating to fuel economy estimate adjustments that occurred at a time when gasoline prices in the United States were especially high.
"Consumers should be able to trust that the claims auto manufacturers make about their vehicles' gas mileage are truthful and accurate," said Attorney General Jepsen. "This settlement resolves Connecticut's claims that Hyundai and Kia misled Connecticut consumers about the fuel economy ratings of certain vehicles both on its window sticker claims and in advertising campaigns that were distributed widely throughout the state. I'm grateful to our co-lead and all of our partner states for their cooperation and coordination, which has helped bring today's settlement to fruition."
"This settlement is good news for consumers in Connecticut and throughout the country. It sends a signal to all automobile manufacturers that they will be held accountable for the fuel economy ratings they advertise, and deceptive practices will not be tolerated," said state Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris.
Connecticut's $1.49 million share of the settlement funds will be deposited in the state's General Fund.
State and federal law set limits on emissions from vehicles sold in the United States. Before vehicles may be offered for sale in the country, auto manufacturers must conduct testing under mandatory protocols set by government regulators and use the resulting data from that testing 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 that the companies had overstated the fuel efficiency of certain vehicles.
The states alleged that Hyundai and Kia incorporated the inflated and inaccurate data into the estimated mileage ratings displayed on the window stickers of hundreds of thousands of cars in Connecticut and across the country. The states also alleged that the companies sought to capitalize on the erroneous mileage estimates by placing them prominently in a variety of advertisements and other promotional campaigns.
The states alleged that these actions were likely to mislead consumers and were material to consumers' decisions to purchase particular vehicles during a time of high gasoline prices. Attorney General Jepsen and Commissioner Harris alleged that these actions constituted violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.
The multistate group – led by the states of Connecticut, Iowa and Illinois – includes Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
Assistant Attorneys General Brendan Flynn, Michele Lucan and Lorrie Adeyemi, head of the Consumer Protection Department, assisted the Attorney General with this matter.