We reported the story last week about Hyundai/Kia settling with the U.S. government over inflated fuel economy ratings on 2011-2013 model Hyundai and Kia models.
Since that time, many Hyundai/Kia owners have expressed outrage to me on why the government, not consumers, received compensation. We covered this story a year ago extensively, but many must have missed it. Here is a Q & A on the subject. Hyundai and Kia set up websites just for the affected owners.
How will I be reimbursed?
Hyundai and Kia will mail debit cards to affected consumers based on three factors: how many miles you’ve driven, the difference in combined EPA mileage between the re-rated numbers and the figures on your original window sticker, and the price of gas in your geographic region. Hyundai and Kia created websites — HyundaiMPGinfo.com and KiaMPGinfo.com — where you can register to receive compensation.
When does the program begin?
Kia marketing Chief Michael Sprague told reporters the reimbursement calculator on KiaMPGinfo.com and HyundaiMPGinfo.com should be up by Saturday, Nov. 3. “By mid-next week or late next week, everything should be ready for people go to their dealerships,” he said.
I don’t have my original window sticker anymore. How do I know what my original mileage is?
Hyundai/Kia and the EPA have documented the figures.
How much will I be reimbursed?
It depends how many miles you drive and have driven. Sprague said you’ll need to visit your nearest Kia or Hyundai dealership for an odometer reading, which will factor into how much extra gas you’ve had to buy because of the faulty mileage ratings. Hyundai/Kia will use geographically centered fuel prices from eight U.S. regions and the Energy Information Administration’s fuel-price indexes.
For example, let’s say you bought a new 2012 Hyundai Elantra in January in California. Since then, you’ve driven 15,000 miles.
-The original combined EPA city/highway mileage was 33 mpg. The revised EPA mileage is 32 mpg. Because of that, you’ve bought 468.8 gallons of gas instead of a hypothetically budgeted 454.5.
-The difference — 14.3 gallons — is calculated against the EIA’s California average, $3.83 per gallon. That’s $54.77.
-Hyundai/Kia will then add a “15% inconvenience bonus,” Hyundai Motor of America CEO John Krafcik said. So the automaker would issue you a debit card for $62.99.
What if I bought a Hyundai that recommends premium gas, like the Genesis sedan? Will I be reimbursed at the rate for premium?
What if I sold my affected Hyundai?
You’ll need to present your bill of sale, which usually will show mileage, Krafcik said. Hyundai/Kia will use that to indicate how many miles you drove, and reimbursement will be calculated accordingly.
Does the reimbursement continue as long as I own the car?
Yes. If you own an affected Hyundai, you can visit your dealership for periodic odometer readings, and they’ll load more money on your debit card. “It’s completely flexible,” Krafcik said. “For example, if a customer was a high-mileage customer who drove 10,000 miles a month, they could come in on a monthly basis or a weekly basis to get their mileage [calculated].”
What if I bought a used Hyundai/Kia that was affected?
Hyundai and Kia officials tell us you’re still eligible to receive the debit card if you bought it before today’s announcement. We assume you’ll need the bill of sale to show mileage at the time of purchase. Those who buy a used Hyundai or Kia after today’s announcement are ineligible.
What if I bought an affected Hyundai or Kia and moved to another part of the country? Will Hyundai/Kia reimburse me using gas prices from where I currently live or where I bought the car?
From where you currently live, a Hyundai spokesman said.