Stop us if you've heard this one before: Hyundai is going to have to reduce the officially announced miles-per-gallon number for its 2014 Sonata. While there's a lot of similarity between this new situation and events that transpired in 2012, there are some important differences. For one, the new mileage mistake, which Hyundai says was once again caused by an error at its test centers, is only applicable to cars in the Korean Domestic Market. Secondly, it's not so much mpg as kilometers per liter.
According to Reuters, the numbers for the Korean Sonata were originally announced as 12.6 kilometers per liter (29.63 mpg), a six-percent increase over the previous model. The automaker has just announced that government verification showed an actual result of 12.1 kpl (28.46 mpg), which is only a two-percent increase. Since these numbers were done using the South Korean economy test, they are not equivalent to the US EPA numbers, the latter of which say the 2014 Sonata gets 36/40/38 miles per gallon. The correction came before the new Sonata went on sale in South Korea. In an official statement, Hyundai said, "We are very sorry for causing confusion to reporters." Hyundai Motor America's Jim Trainor, product public relations senior group manager, assured AutoblogGreen that the Korean error will have "no effect" on US ratings.
"We are very sorry for causing confusion to reporters" - Hyundai
In 2012, Hyundai and Kia faced a media and consumer firestorm after being caught up in exaggerated mileage claims for vehicles like its 2013 Accent, Veloster and Elantra. The sister companies agreed to compensate buyers to the tune of $395 million for what they said were "honest mistakes" and "human error" during in-house fuel economy tests. There is no word yet on whether similar customer satisfaction actions will follow this domestic market snafu.