FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2016
Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216
Albuquerque, NM – Attorney General Hector Balderas announced the State of New Mexico will receive $677,428.99 as part of a multi-state 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.
“Our office will continue to aggressively hold corporations accountable who prey on New Mexico consumers and families,” said Attorney General Balderas.
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 multi-state 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.
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 New Mexico 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 Balderas alleged that these actions constituted violations of the New Mexico Unfair Practices Act.
In addition to New Mexico, the multi-state 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, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
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