Monday

UPDATE - Hyundai and Kia Fined $100 Million by US

Money to Burn?
The New York Times is reporting that Hyundai - Kia have been fined $100 million by the US EPA and Justice Department for falsified mileage data numbers. More on that breaking news here -



This comes on the heels of Hyundai-Kia's purchase of land for $10 billion on which to build their new headquarters building, a price equal to over $18,000 per square foot - a move many called extravagant for the car building conglomerate.

Floating in cash, the US fines seem huge and tiny at the same time.

Is it all about the profit?
UPDATE - in addition to the $100 million fine, Automotive News is reporting that in the settlement Hyundai and Kia also agreed "spend $50 million to establish an independent fuel economy certification group and forfeit some 4.75 million greenhouse gas emission credits the companies have banked under the EPA’s tailpipe emissions regulations -- estimated to be worth more than $200 million." Those EPA "credits" are estimated to have a cash value of about $45 per credit currently.

That makes the Hyunda - Kia - EPA settlement worth about $350 million total. Still only a fraction of the $10 billion the cash-rich car companies spent on the land (alone) for their new HQ.

For over two years some 13 vehicle models' fuel ratings were overstated. The fuel ratings of an economy car model are commonly known to be one of the primary marketing and advertising tactics used by motor vehicle manufacturers to attract buyers.

While the manufacturers were still defending the way they calculated their mpg numbers that they reported to the federal government, Automotive News also reported that Hyundai and Kia used “cherry-picked” data and conducted testing in ways “that did not reflect good engineering judgement” that ultimately led to artificially high fuel economy ratings for most of its lineup at the time in question, according to the DOJ’s statement.

It just goes to show you that when big corporations have millions of dollars at stake, they are not shy about fudging the numbers if it means big bucks in ill-gotten profits and stealing customers from the other competing auto makers.

Burdge Law Office
Helping Consumers Protect Themselves, Everyday