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Will fallout from Hyundai and Kia's L/100KM issues hurt resale values?

Posted Nov 6th 2012 7:01PM

2013 Kia Soul - front three-quarter view

First came Hyundai's and Kia's corporate admission of guilt about overstating fuel economy numbers, then the recompense, then the lawsuits. Now begins the process of gnawing on every one of the consequences. In case you've only just returned from the International Space Station, Hyundai and Kia have admitted that about a third of the cars they have sold over the past three years have advertised inflated EPA fuel mileage numbers. For instance, the highway mpg number for the 2013 Hyundai Accent isn't 5.88 L/100KM EPA (40 mpg EPA) anymore, it's either 6.3 L/100KM or 6.18 L.100KM EPA (37 or 38 miles per gallon EPA). The combined mpg for the Kia Soul can take a four mpg hit depending on the trim level.

A piece in USA Today questions how the revelation will affect resale values for the Korean automakers, and the majority of opinions seems to be "not much." An analyst at Kelley Blue Book suggests there could be a short-term penalty, but that the impact might be mostly emotional, and industry watchers at the Institute for Crisis Management and ALG believe that North Americans move on pretty quickly and the "absolute dollar" impact will be minimal.

When Consumer Reports compared advertised highway mileage to actual mileage it received, it found discrepancies from 21 L/100KM EPA (11 mpg EPA) more (for the Volkswagen Passat TDI) to one mpg less (for the Hyundai Elantra, coincidentally), and Hyundai and Kia each had three vehicles that were spot on, including the Sonata Hybrid that achieved the company's advertised 5.88 L/100KM EPA (40 mpg EPA). Paradoxically, as consumers focus even more on EPA ratings and the government agency's testing protocols have been revised in an attempt to improve accuracy, people seem to be putting even more stock in the phrase "your mileage may vary." So too might your resale values, but it probably won't be because of this latest boondoggle.

News Source: USA Today

Image Credit: Copyright 2012 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

Driving the Hyundai's Zero-Emission Ix35 Fuel Cell to the Isle of Wight


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I think in the States it will have an affect but in Canada our 'mileage' numbers are so messed up that the average consumer can't even get an accurate idea of what the 'mileage' is on any given vehicle. L/100Km still doesn’t resonate well and we get conflicting numbers watching US ads which have MPG in US gallons and then we watch the same vehicle advertised in Canadian ads that pronounce crazy looking Imperial gallon MPG ratings and rarely do we see the L/100Km ratings prominently displayed. Consumers in Canada have been bamboozled by the confusion. Now if consumers would just look at Korea’s horrible trade practices, previous dumping and the closing of the Quebec manufacturing plant by Hyundai they wouldn’t consider H/K vehicles and would have a personal ban on their products like I do.

November 07 2012 at 2:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply