Given the recent debacle regarding overstated fuel-economy estimates from Hyundai and Kia, we wouldn't blame the companies for being a little gun-shy about new vehicle releases. That just might be the case for the 2013 Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima Hybrids.
With the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not including those two models under its 2013 model-year list (it only lists the 2012 versions and 2013's gas-only versions), Hybrid Cars is wondering if the two companies aren't pushing back their debuts for some late tweaks. At the moment, only the 2012 Optima Hybrid shows up on Kia's website, and the same goes for the Sonata Hybrid. A Hyundai representative told Hybrid Cars that the 2013 Sonata Hybrid is being redesigned in Korea, with announcements possibly coming in the next month or two. Neither Hyundai nor Kia responded to requests for comment from AutoblogGreen.
It would seem to make sense that Hyundai and Kia are takign some extra time readying their 2013 model-year hybrids. In late 2012, Hyundai and Kia had to drop fuel-economy estimates on many of its 2012 and 2013 model-year vehicles after reporting inaccurate mileage estimates. The companies agreed to give money back to about 900,000 vehicle owners, with the amounts varying based on the MPG adjustment to their models and the owners' odometer readings. In all, the companies set aside about $412 million for refunds. Both the 2012 Sonata and Optima Hybrids are now rated at 36 miles per gallon combined.