In the wake of the PR crisis that followed the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) discovery that the fuel-mileage estimates of Kia vehicles sold in the US market were inflated, the Korean car brand's exclusive distributor in the Philippines, Columbian Autocar Corporation, sent us a statement:
The specs of the models sold here are specific to local operating conditions. Thus, the EPA figures may vary from the ones sold in the US market.
To further clarify things, here's the official statement from Kia Motors Corporation:
Kia Motors Corporation's US and Canadian sales subsidiaries have initiated a voluntary campaign to correct fuel economy ratings for approximately 350,000 vehicles sold between 2010 and 2012, re-label all affected vehicles currently in North American showrooms, and provide monetary reimbursement to all affected current and former customers. This action follows discussions with the US Environmental Protection Agency concerning procedural errors at the joint Hyundai-Kia testing operations in Korea that led to incorrect fuel economy ratings for certain Kia models.
The fuel-economy ratings in question affect only vehicles sold in North America (and some unincorporated US territories). All Kia cars sold in other regions of the world have been properly certified with correct fuel-economy ratings by each respective certification agency. Meanwhile, immediate steps are being taken at our testing facilities to make the necessary corrections to the EPA-related fuel-economy testing process so that this type of procedural error does not happen again in the future.
Kia Motors Corporation will continue to advance improvements in the fuel economy of our entire global lineup of vehicles through technological innovation.
The United States' Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has uncovered significant discrepancies between the actual and the claimed fuel economy of Hyundai and Kia vehicles sold in the US. The EPA is the federal government agency in charge of ensuring that the mileage figures declared by car companies are accurate so as to protect the American consumer and also to see if automakers are complying with the government's fuel-economy regulations. The agency conducted the investigation after receiving "a number of consumer complaints about Hyundai mileage estimates."
The Hyundai and Kia brands both belong to the same Hyundai Kia Automotive Group based in Seoul, South Korea. Together, they form the fifth largest automotive company in the world as of 2011, next only to General Motors, Volkswagen Group, Nissan-Renault and Toyota.
The EPA discovered that nearly all vehicles in the product lineups of both Hyundai and Kia have a discrepancy of one to two miles per gallon (mpg). The highest discrepancy is 6mpg for the Kia Soul in highway driving. One mpg is equivalent to 0.425km/L.
"Consumers rely on the window sticker to help make informed choices about the cars they buy," said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "The EPA's investigation will help protect consumers and ensure a level playing field among automakers."
The EPA is said to routinely test 150-200 vehicles a year--or "about 15 percent of the possible vehicle configurations"--to ensure that "their performance matches the mileage and emissions data required to be submitted to the agency by automakers."
As a result of the investigation, both Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America will lower their fuel economy estimates "for the majority" of their 2012 and 2013 model-year vehicles.
Check out the chart below for the old fuel-economy claims versus the adjusted ones.