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Hyundai Overstated MPG On Over 1 Million Cars

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the or-maybe-600-thousand-whatever dept.

Transportation 238

Hugh Pickens writes "Reuters reports that Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors conceded that they overstated the fuel economy on more than 1 million recently sold vehicles, and agreed to compensate owners for the additional fuel costs after the EPA found the errors in 13 Kia and Hyundai models from the 2011 to 2013 model years. The findings were a blow to the two carmakers, which have centered their marketing campaigns on superior fuel economy. The mileage on most labels will be reduced by 1 to 2 miles per gallon, with the largest adjustment being a 6-mpg highway reduction for one version of the Kia Soul, the EPA said. Hyundai previously touted the fact that many of its models get 40 miles per gallon on the highway. Now three Hyundai models, the Elantra, Accent and Veloster, as well as the Kia Rio fall short of that mark, as will the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima hybrids."

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Oh No! Global warming is wrong! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872097)

The fact that a corporate entity fudged the numbers means global warming is false!

Re:Oh No! Global warming is wrong! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872237)

Always check your own mileage. Keep the reciept from when you fill up and write the current mileage down on the back of it then do math next time you fill up
On a related note, for business travelers that need to keep mileage, there are apps available for that [amazon.com] .

Re:Oh No! Global warming is wrong! (3, Insightful)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#41872511)

Of course, your own mileage will vary, based on ambient temperature, road conditions, tire pressure/type, the gas you're using, your level of wakefulness, and your level of anger/stress. It's extremely unlikely that your real-world mileage will be even close to the EPA posted mileage.

Re: Oh No! Global warming is wrong! (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 years ago | (#41872749)

My real world mileage on my Fiat 500 is about 5 mpg more than the sticker label. (42 mpg average)

Re: Oh No! Global warming is wrong! (1, Informative)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 years ago | (#41872919)

My real world mileage on my Fiat 500 is about 5 mpg more than the sticker label. (42 mpg average)

In my experience the EPA figures have usually off by several MPG, with "American" cars typically having lower MPG than the EPA estimates and "foreign" cars typically higher. It's odd that I don't see GM and Chrysler being investgated. Or perhaps the EPA itself needs to be investigated...

Re:Oh No! Global warming is wrong! (4, Informative)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41872769)

...and whether or not you have the common sense [that God gave a grapefruit] to stay the fuck off the ass of the car in front of you so that you're not forever riding your brakes!

Re:Oh No! Global warming is wrong! (1)

pjbgravely (751384) | about 2 years ago | (#41873007)

Strange, I always match or beat EPA, except on my truck which came with huge mudder tires. yes of course driving through deep snow lowers my mileage considerably but I am talking about lifetime. Am I an anomaly?

MPG testing (5, Insightful)

CdBee (742846) | about 2 years ago | (#41872123)

I'm unconvinced anyway by mileage claims. I can't speak for the US system but in the UK it's done in a test where the car runs for a set period at certain speeds then either accelerates or decelerates to different speeds, all cars are tested at the same speeds and intervals to get comparable figures. On A Rolling Road

If they were comparable to real life it'd be nice: It makes no adjustment for whether some cars coast better than others downhill, effects of wind resistance, effect on drag of the car's turning geometry.... In the real world some cars do significantly better than their official mileages and others can't even get close.

My VW Passat 2.0i 16v (1991) once managed 56mpg on one long run and always beat 45mpg when it was officially meant to do no more than 42mpg, my 1.8D Ford Escort didn't even come close to its official range of 50-60mpg on long runs and my dad's Passat 1.8 20v likewise drank far more than the label indicated it should, and both my mondeo 1.8TD and Volvo V40 2.0i 16v significantly beat their official figures (the Mondeo with ease, it once managed 932 miles on a single tank, the V40 takes careful handling).

TL:DR? Summary: "Official mileage figures are unreliable, live with it"

Re:MPG testing - just to add (3, Informative)

CdBee (742846) | about 2 years ago | (#41872133)

I'm british, when I say 'mpg' I mean miles per british gallon, which are bigger.

Re:MPG testing - just to add (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872175)

I'm in the US and the MPG figures are not perfect, but they seem to be a little pessimistic. I can beat them by 5 or 6 percent, typically, for both city and highway driving. Of course, if you drive more aggressively, you can also see the opposite result. But I've never owned a car where I couldn't beat the EPA estimates.

I have noticed that even when you adjust for the gallon size difference, the UK/EU testing cycle gives much more optimistic results for the same vehicle compared to the US testing cycle. So when comparing, one has to adjust both for that, and the gallon difference.

Re:MPG testing - just to add (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 2 years ago | (#41872605)

The post 2008 ones tend to be perhaps, but I think the old way of measuring was consistently a mile or two high.

Re:MPG testing - just to add (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 2 years ago | (#41872685)

If you consistently beat them by the same amount regardless of the car, then they're doing a good job - you have useful gauge to compare different models, and you have a good estimate for yourself after applying the correction factor.

The question is whether the real-world numbers match the estimates. I'm not sure we could get that without requiring the cars collect the data themselves and mechanics submit the data at the regular service intervals.

Re:MPG testing - just to add (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41873087)

There are driving techniques that can help with this. I use both pulse and glide (push on the gas to get about 5-10 MPH over the speed limit and let off until you are 5-10 MPH under, and let the vehicle slow down up hills) as well as drafting to get very good numbers from my vehicle. Yes, people might have to whine about having to turn off cruise control, but fuck them. My gas is more important, period. You don't have to be right up on a semi's rear end for drafting either. A few car lengths still keeps you in the envelope. Only downside is the semis with the fish-mouth on the back don't offer benefits to drafting, so find one of the ones that don't.

Re:MPG testing - just to add (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41873469)

So you are one of those jerks who is constantly speeding up/slowing down and, as a result, forcing others to do so at times when it harms their gas mileage by causing more congestion and/or making others apply their brakes.

Thanks and one day soon may you misjudge or drop you attention for a few minutes and cram [autoblog.com] your car and your empty head under the underride guard on the truck you're drafting behind and thereby improve the gene pool.

Re:MPG testing - just to add (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41872717)

I'm in the US and the MPG figures are not perfect, but they seem to be a little pessimistic. I can beat them by 5 or 6 percent, typically, for both city and highway driving. Of course, if you drive more aggressively, you can also see the opposite result. But I've never owned a car where I couldn't beat the EPA estimates.

I have noticed that even when you adjust for the gallon size difference, the UK/EU testing cycle gives much more optimistic results for the same vehicle compared to the US testing cycle. So when comparing, one has to adjust both for that, and the gallon difference.

They are intended to be typical for most drivers, not the best you can get. There are many factors that affect it: driver habits, the routes you drive and the traffic on those routes, your altitude, climate, etc.

Re:MPG testing - just to add (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41872193)

which are bigger.

The miles, or the gallons? :-) Also, everyone else, note that liters and kilometers are the same everywhere! ;)

Re:MPG testing - just to add (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#41872303)

note that liters and kilometers are the same everywhere!

Except at NASA.

Re:MPG testing - just to add (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 years ago | (#41872309)

which are bigger.

The miles, or the gallons? :-) Also, everyone else, note that liters and kilometers are the same everywhere! ;)

Even still litres per 100 km is the better representation than mpg or km per litre as you are better able to compare different fuel consumptions. See Fuel economy in automobiles [wikipedia.org]

Re:MPG testing - just to add (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41872663)

Even still litres per 100 km is the better representation than mpg or km per litre

Not at all. It's the same information.

Re:MPG testing - just to add (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41872739)

It's the same information presented in an easier to use form, because it's easier to multiply in your head than to divide. Also, if you live anywhere but the USA and your fuel is sold in liters and your odometer reads kilometers... In the USA, I contend we would be better off to report fuel economy in gallons per hundred miles.

Re:MPG testing - just to add (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41873531)

Bingo. GPM is far more accurate than MPG. Yes, the difference between 30 MPG and 50 MPG sounds great, but in reality, the 1.3 gallons saved it is not anywhere near the difference between 10 and 20 MPG (which saves 5 gallons per 100 miles.)

Here in the US, one thing that businesses are doing is moving from the typical V8 vans to the Mercedes Sprinters [1]. Even though the Sprinter has a small diesel V-6, its 20+ MPG is a lot better than the 10-15 MPG, and can make a difference both in budget and PR value.

[1]: Of course, if something Mercedes needs service, be prepared to pay and pay dearly. New DPF? I've read $3200 for that because you can't clean them out manually like most diesel filters. Hopefully Ford can get the Transit line to the US soonish because it provides the same benefits... and it is far easier to find a Ford dealer than a Mercedes dealer who specializes in vans.

Re:MPG testing - just to add (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41872763)

We could report it in dBmicroliters/lightyear and that would also be the same information. Sometimes the value of information depends on how it is presented.

Re:MPG testing - just to add (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 years ago | (#41872833)

Even still litres per 100 km is the better representation than mpg or km per litre

Not at all. It's the same information.

I said representation not information. Did you even read the link?

Re:MPG testing - just to add (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872775)

Even still litres per 100

Hold on.... I thought we were talking about liters, not litres.

Re:MPG testing - just to add (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41873027)

imperial gallons is about 1.2 us gallons. So take 17% off any MPG number using imperial gallons to get a number that is just as meaningless because the conditions used to evaluate the mileage are different anyway. Eternal confusion achieved.

Re:MPG testing - just to add (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#41872679)

I'm Canadian. When I read "MPG" I see "Moving Picture Experts Group".

Re:MPG testing (2)

DuckDodgers (541817) | about 2 years ago | (#41872169)

I agree. I check consumer-contributed fuel economy websites. I don't think they're especially reliable either, but I trust them a little more than official ratings. For examples in the US, try truedelta.com and fuelly.com.

Hyundai is at least doing the honorable thing and reimbursing all customers who bought the affected vehicles for the difference between the new EPA ratings and the original ones, for the life of the vehicle. That's pretty good - but I'm sure tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people wouldn't have purchased those products in the first place if they had known the real fuel economy ratings (not that they're especially bad products, but if an extra 2 mpg put you into a Hyundai versus a competing vehicle, then Hyundai benefitted a lot from their lie). So even though Hyundai may be doing the right thing for its customers, their deception - even if it was unintentional - unfairly gave them a sales advantage against the competition.

Re:MPG testing (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41872451)

So even though Hyundai may be doing the right thing for its customers, their deception - even if it was unintentional - unfairly gave them a sales advantage against the competition.

The question is, who else is doing this, and by how much? I think mileage ratings are a lot of bullshit anyway, but I wouldn't be surprised if automakers regularly fudge them by very small amounts. Presumably, you could do the math (and some significant market research, but they all do that) to figure out how much you have to fudge it before you start making significant profit. And of course, the old mileage rating system was a ridiculous joke, you literally could not achieve the mileage ratings in some cases, at least not without employing "hypermiling" techniques which are potentially dangerous to others and might even be illegal in some conditions, in some states.

Re:MPG testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872535)

The old EPA mileage rating system was quite accurate for Diesels, now it is *very* pessimistic. They apply a "correction factor", which for all intents and purposes appears to be strictly punitive. If you have a diesel, you will usually exceed the EPA ratings by a high margin in all but the most extreme situations. In the old system, you'd slightly beat the EPA ratings.

Re:MPG testing (2)

DuckDodgers (541817) | about 2 years ago | (#41872693)

I understand diesel engines are extremely efficient at idle compared to gasoline engines, and the EPA ratings don't properly account for the amount of time a real vehicle spends idling at stop lights, stop signs, and in heavy traffic. I've also read claims that the General Motors "mild hybrid" system that simply shuts off the motor when the vehicle stops moving and then instantly starts it when you lift your foot off the brake pedal similarly provides a big boost to real fuel economy, and is also unfairly undervalued by the EPA tests versus its real world performance.

But this is hearsay, I don't have enough data to back it up. I'm watching fuelly.com and truedelta.com with interest (I have no connection to either sites, I'm not shilling) to see what users of, for example, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat turbodiesel and 2013 Chevy Malibu Eco (which uses the shutoff on stop) report for their real world economy.

Re:MPG testing (2)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#41872789)

I bought a 2013 VW Jetta TDI w/manual transmission a couple of weeks ago. My commute to work is 65 miles each way. 45 of Interstate highway, 20 of thru-town traffic .

I've averaged 46-48 mpg according to the dash gauge that computes this. It matches my calculations when purchasing fuel.

Pure stop-and-go, heart of Washington, DC w/construction at rush hour, brings it down to about 25-27 mpg. If I did that every day I would definitely want a hybrid or electric. But for my situation I absolutely LOVE the Jetta TDI.

Re:MPG testing (2)

DuckDodgers (541817) | about 2 years ago | (#41872671)

Well, for example, General Motors had some pushrod (no overhead camshaft) V6s in use from the late 1990s and 2000s that routinely met or beat their EPA fuel economy ratings. The engines were less powerful than you'd expect from a V6 and pretty noisy for their class, especially under hard acceleration. But my 2001 Impala was rated 21 city/32 highway, and I averaged between 24 and 28 miles per gallon for the 125,000 miles I owned the vehicle and always got 31-32 miles per gallon on long trips. Our Honda CRV small SUV all wheel drive was also right in the middle of the 23 city/ 27 highway ratings, and averaged 24 miles per gallon over 180,000 miles of ownership. So the EPA ratings were not always wrong. In 2007 the EPA changed the ratings to be more conservative ( as Anonymous Coward noted in his response to you below ) and sadly the Honda minivan I bought in 2007, which had no engineering changes from the 2006 model, matches the lower ratings so I'm confident the 2006 numbers were fantasy. I'm not devestated by 16 city/23 highway, but I had hoped for better.

But I would agree that some of the automakers do this all of the time and I imagine most of them do it some of the time. My first inclination would be to distrust the highest ratings, and work down from there. However, I suppose a company could lie at any point - maybe they rate a car at below average fuel economy but in reality the fuel economy is incredibly low.

Re:MPG testing (3, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41872803)

The EPA randomly checks a couple hundred models every year. If cheating were widespread, they would know it.

Re:MPG testing (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41872791)

Hyundai is at least doing the honorable thing and reimbursing all customers who bought the affected vehicles for the difference between the new EPA ratings and the original ones, for the life of the vehicle.

Honorable? They're trying to avoid being charged with fraud. They may be charged anyway.

Re:MPG testing (2)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | about 2 years ago | (#41872809)

I bought my 2011 Elantra in great part ot the claimed MPG rating, and have been sorely disappointed. I consistently get 20-21 MPG while the rating was in the mid 30s.

I admit I do almost all city driving, but my 1999 Civic got 29-30 mpg for its life doing basically the same thing for 11 years, so it's not a hard number to hit.

I've complained to the Hyundai dealer and everyone I speak to gives me a different answer: "lying salesmen", "break-in period", "cheap gas", etc.

I've tried cheap, mid-price, and top-end gas for extended periods over the 12k miles I've driven it and the mileage hasn't improved one iota since the day I drove it off the lot.

The mechanics have "checked it out" twice and both times said it's working perfectly.

Needless to say I won't be buying Hyundai again unless they cut me a check to cover the lost 100 miles per tank. If I'm lucky I expect I'll get a tenth of that.

Re:MPG testing (1)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | about 2 years ago | (#41872911)

I just used their reimbursement calculator, and they say I should expect about $67 back. Hey, it's better than nothing, but my own conservative calculation indicates that if I was getting 25mpg instead of the 20 I'm getting, they'd owe me over $450. Oh well. At least my wife's Tucson gets the mileage we expected.

Re:MPG testing (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#41872261)

My VW Passat 2.0i 16v (1991) once managed 56mpg on one long run and always beat 45mpg when it was officially meant to do no more than 42mpg

My 2003 Mercedes C200 diesel wagon gets 51½mpg in mixed driving in summer (with a lot of highway in the mix, it gets better than 60mpg). In winter, the economy drops to about 45mpg. The "official" rating for the car according to the carbon tax people is 43½mpg. Oh, these are also Imperial gallons.

Official mileage figures are unreliable, live with it.

Unfortunately, we pay a vehicle carbon tax which is assessed on these "official" figures, whether accurate or not.

Re:MPG testing (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#41873515)

Why unfortunately? You wind up paying less because the mileage is always overstated.

Re:MPG testing (1)

hubang (692671) | about 2 years ago | (#41872293)

It's the same in the US. In the US, the test is supposed to mimic driving conditions in Southern California. 70 degrees F ambient. Statistical mix of hills, flats and valleys, for Southern California.

All done on a rolling road.

Your mileage may vary.

Re:MPG testing (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#41872327)

...and drivers.

The wife, bless her, gets low 30mpg (Royal miles to the Greenwich gallon) from our Zafira. I can get it into the 40s on the same roads just by being all round awesome and penisey.

Speaking of which, any government that was serious about increasing economy would mandate an instant, trip and "high score" MPG counter that's always displayed. We all like gaming, right?

Re:MPG testing (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#41872589)

Speaking of which, any government that was serious about increasing economy would mandate an instant, trip and "high score" MPG counter that's always displayed. We all like gaming, right?

Yeah, but the idea is a low score, not a high score. Personally, I get giggle fits when accelerating hard, and seing the instant fuel economy jump to > 50L/100km (normal highway economy varies from 4-7L/100km depending on conditions, and can spike to 10-12L when going up a hill or into the wind). It's like those roadside speed radar machines they put up in residential areas where people complain about folks driving too fast. Normally I drive pretty close to the speed limit, but when I see one of those, I try for a high score. I'm still wondering what its 2-digit display would show if you were going over 100...

Re:MPG testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41873563)

Perhaps distance/volume is a better way to represent fuel economy because I also try to get a "high score" on my instant fuel economy readout, but it measures miles per gallon.

I have noticed that the average fuel economy on the same trip computer (Chrysler Sebring) is ALWAYS overstated compared to the numbers I get when I calculate it based on miles driven and gallons pumped into the tank.

I don't have enough data on other cars to know if this is consistently true for others, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were, Most people are too lazy to actually calculate their mileage so if the trip computer says they got 25 MPG that's probably the figure they'll claim their car gets in casual conversation whereas I know when my car says I got 25 MPG it was probably closer to 22.

Re:MPG testing (2)

the_humeister (922869) | about 2 years ago | (#41872469)

Of course they're YMMV because it's completely dependent upon how the car is driven. For example my MkV Jetta is rated at 29 mpg highway. However my best was 46 mpg from Sacramento to San Diego and back (that's right, 46 mpg from a 5 cylinder petrol engine). I even tried to enter this on the EPA's website (fueleconomy.gov) but it wouldn't let me because it said it was too high.

Re:MPG testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872541)

They're done the same way in the USA. They put the cars on a 2-wheel or 4-wheel dynamometer and run it through a prescribed speed profile. The resistance of the dynamometers is adjusted according to the model's weight and drag. The EPA requires that heaviest, draggiest (if that's a word) trim model is tested. The speed profiles have recently been updated to more closely reflect normal driving conditions.

There used to be big differences between what the EPA said and what customers experience. It has gotten much closer recently with the implementation of updated speed profiles that call for faster accelerations, more breaking and higher speeds.

But for all that, the numbers provide a consistent basis on which to compare cars. You may not make the same numbers as the testing agency, but if the test results say car A gets 20% better mileage than car B, you will experience pretty much the same thing. But if the agency changes the test procedure, you will not be able to compare numbers from 2012 tests to numbers from a later test.

Re:MPG testing (1)

swalve (1980968) | about 2 years ago | (#41872631)

That's something that people forget. The EPA rating isn't meant to predict what a driver will get. It's meant to compare different cars on the same test. They should have used a different rating system for the comparison so this confusion wouldn't be felt. Even if it was just L/100km, people would know that it's a different rating system than what they do at home.

Re:MPG testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872955)

Same here. I drive a 1998 Mustang (automatic). Last year I got 30mpg averaged over a full tank of gas. I consistently break 26mpg averaged over an entire tank. In pure city driving, I am never below 20mpg. Brand new [fueleconomy.gov] it was rated at 26/17.

Part of it is that I rarely touch the breaks but rather look very far ahead and anticipate traffic patterns decently (using the breaks = lost energy due to friction/heat loss = decreased fuel efficiency). But part of it surely must be that the 1998 Mustang does better than presented. I can coast at a slight downhill (~5 degrees) at 50mph and retain that 50mph no problem.

tl;dr The car is about 15 years old and exceeds by far its original advertised fuel efficiency.

Re:MPG testing (1)

godrik (1287354) | about 2 years ago | (#41873535)

I frequently drive a mini cooper and a VW Jetta. The MPG is fairly accurate between the constructor and what I actually get (number of miles travelled divided by what the pump tell me I need to fuel it). The difference is less than 2mpg.

What appears to make a huge difference is: AC or heating and when there is snow on the road, keeping the engine idle or the window opened.

Oddly enough... (1)

morgandelra (448341) | about 2 years ago | (#41872141)

I have 2010 Genesis and I tend to get a bit above its stated MPG both in city and highway. Highway MPG can be 2-3 over its stated performance using regular unleaded. Premium gas can get another mile or so but the economics are not worth it.

Re:Oddly enough... (4, Insightful)

swalve (1980968) | about 2 years ago | (#41872455)

I agree. I have a 2012 Accent, and its performance is vastly improved using premium gas. It probably isn't economically worth it, but the extra dollar a tank is worth it for driving pleasure. It's little 1600 cc engine is pleasantly torquey for its size, when fed good gas. (I know that reads like an advertisement, but it's not. I am just really happy with the car. I bought it simply because it was cheap and had a long warranty, and was surprised at how good of a car it ended up being.)

But I was suspicious about the MPG claims. I've always been able to easily exceed the US MPG ratings on my cars, but on this one I was barely able to meet them. Especially frustrating considering that the test was de-rated a few years ago. I can easily exceed the 40 MPG rating, but only on dead flat ground at 55 MPH. I can probably get about 50 - 60 MPG in that use case. But if I up the speed or climb a grade, its mileage suffers quickly.

However, it's stated 33 MPG in combined driving is pretty much dead on. I average 31-34 all the time.

I'm disappointed at Hyundai for doing this, because they really didn't have to. They have worked really hard at improving their cars in the last 10 years, and this stupid blunder will harm their reputation. In many categories, their cars are top in class, and fudging the MPG numbers really wasn't going to get them very much more in sales.

Re:Oddly enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872657)

I have the same problem, but with a 2011 Elantra Touring. Unfortunately not part of this gas refund although I think it should be.
Our previous car (1994 Tercel) is rated by the EPA as getting 1MPg better than the elabtra. And year in actual ownership the elantra uses 25% more gas (measured over 15000km).
I like the car and it does match EPA numbers, but still annoying after being so spoiled by the Toyota on fuel.

Re:Oddly enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41873321)

What do you mean by premium gas? Do you mean high octane?

Standard disclaimer (5, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41872143)

YMMV

Re:Standard disclaimer (1)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#41872277)

But it should vary based on driving conditions. When I first got my current car I pretty much got the stated 16/23mpg. However as I learned to drive it I found I could get 20/25mpg. Sometimes if i do a lot of stop and go surface road driving I will get 18mpg. OTOH, if I take a drive on the open road for 2-3 hours I can approach 30 mpg. I don't think we are in the world of the 70's or 80's where the prediction technology is not there. For instance I rented a Subaru legacy to drive around the mountains and on the way down, a 50 mile trip, I used just over a gallon. On the way up I did not get much worse than the rated efficiency. You mileage may vary, but if it is by much it is pretty much at the point where it is fraud.

Thats a shame (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872149)

Its like Korea was famous for their high quality car manufacturing business

True Story (TM) (-1, Offtopic)

dugancent (2616577) | about 2 years ago | (#41872167)

Suck my weiner king
suck my salty hog
suck my fat chub
suck my ding dong!

Re:True Story (TM) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872231)

ha ha douche. someone forgot the AC button.

Re:True Story (TM) (0)

dugancent (2616577) | about 2 years ago | (#41873241)

Don't care! Eat a turd!

A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (-1, Troll)

bogaboga (793279) | about 2 years ago | (#41872211)

Hyundai borrowed its MO from American auto companies. Hyundai cars, like cars from America's big three, are all designed to fail after a particular mileage.

To see this, you can hardly find any of those cars that "hold their value" so to speak.

You visit an auto shop for what seems to be a "small problem" and you're faced with exorbitant costs. In the end, you end up being told to replace the faulty part.

In many cases this isn't enough as you then are advised that going with a new vehicle is cheaper in the long run. Sad indeed.

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872299)

Except Saturns. Which is why GM bought them and shut them down because they were making vehicles that weren't pieces of shit.

My wife's saturn LS 4 door has 165,000 and going strong. Such a shame she may not be able to get another one when this one finally gives out.

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (-1, Flamebait)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41872415)

Grand cherokee, 240,000 miles and still runs like new. Last jeep went over 350,000 miles before and accident claimed it's life. if your car will not go over 200,000 miles without major problems.... it's crap. And that means ANY GM vehicle is utter crap.

NOTE: I do not trust any of the newer Jeeps to go that far. the current Grand cherokee is not a jeep but a dressed up on road only SUV. Quality of the current line up of jeeps is suspect to many. Except the Rubicon that one has already proved it's self to be a real jeep.

Honda recently has lost it's stellar reputation. Many of the cars eating up rear tires because of crap suspension parts, engine mounts coming apart, and electrical issues.

Toyota... well they are not really toyota anymore..

Suzuki still makes killer engines and drivetrains, they just cant figure out how to keep the rest of it from rusting away.

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (1)

swalve (1980968) | about 2 years ago | (#41872651)

Honda recently has lost it's stellar reputation. Many of the cars eating up rear tires because of crap suspension parts, engine mounts coming apart, and electrical issues.

I noticed that myself on the road, where the rear tires of Hondas would splay outward when hitting bumps or when heavily loaded. They must have made some stupid compromise, like sacrificing a good suspension geometry for trunk space or a flat rear floor.

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872653)

Its ~correct~ itself its

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (3, Informative)

paulej72 (1177113) | about 2 years ago | (#41872439)

GM always owned Saturn.

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (1)

JBMcB (73720) | about 2 years ago | (#41872735)

GM shut Saturn down because they had too many marques to begin with. Look at the successful names and how many marques they have - the Japanese companies usually have two, there's VW/Audi/Porsche, Daimler has two that they are shrinking down to one. BMW has three in radically different market segments.

GM had Saab, Chevrolet, GMC, Chevy Trucks (separate from Chevrolet) Saturn, Buick, Hummer and Cadillac. They trimmed down to four, which is still a lot (they could probably loose the redundant Chevy Truck and GMC marques)

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (1)

JBMcB (73720) | about 2 years ago | (#41872747)

Shoot, I forgot Pontiac. Seriously they had a stupid number of marques.

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872937)

Oldsmobile

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872855)

"Except Saturns"

Ha ha ha ha ha! That's a funny one! Well, it would be funny it weren't so tragic - truth is the 1.9L-4 that they put in the SL2 was a piece of crap, and they knew it. There were problems with the head on most of them (mine was one, so I know whereof I speak) - they were not cast correctly and had a tendency to crack. GM never fixed this, or acknowledged it. They would replace heads that failed within 60K miles with another that would fail within another 60K, but by then it would no longer be under warranty, so they did not care. Should have been a recall, but never was.
Look on the web, you'll see hundreds (if not thousands) of others saying the same thing. Maybe the initial Saturn was great (I bought mine because of that reputation), but the later ones were crap. Uncomfortable for long rides, too, but that has nothing to do with reliability.

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41872913)

Saturn was a subsidiary of GM from the day it opened its doors to the day it closed them. Their whole purpose for existence was to establish and benchmark different manufacturing methods. What was successful, they rolled into their other factories. Saturn cars were never really strong sellers in the market, so they eliminated the brand. They eliminated Hummer and Pontiac about the same time.

Their current US brands are Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC.

Their international brands include Opel, Vauxhall and Holden. (English-speakers will likely be familiar with these.) They also own some Chinese and Korean brands.

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41873033)

Was the LS an actual saturn or a rebadge? I don't remember. My 97 SC2, a genuine saturn not a rebadge, simply wont die although I've had all the "typical saturn" problems.

They start sipping oil at 100K miles about 1 quart every 2K miles. Supposedly a $1500 valve job will perma-fix that, although at $5/qt for fancy synthetic that valve job would take more than the realistic life of the car before I'd break even vs just burning some oil... so I just buy 6 qts or so at each oil change and then dump another in every month or two.

Also the brakes are legendarily bad and need replacement pads and disks every year or so. If you ever, ever take a saturn into a 3rd party service center, maybe to stick a new muffler on or something, they'll put the wheels back on wrong, and warp the disks. Some cars/brakes you can get away with ignoring wheel tightening pattern, but not saturns. Torque one lug nut to 100 or whatever, then the put the next nut and torque it full, repeat until they're all on and you've got a guaranteed warped disk on a Saturn. You're not supposed to install wheel nuts like that but people do anyway.

The ECU goes completely insane if the battery fails and you only get 10 volts on the bus. Absolutely bonkers. The car will crank and even halfway start but the ECU is insane so it'll smoke and ping and go crazy, leading to terror that its going to be a 4 figure repair bill, and then it turns out a simple battery will fix it. Also the battery design is such that you'll have to tighten the battery bolt as the average monkey leaves it too loose, so you'll think "complete electrical failure" and it'll turn out to just be loose battery..

Finally if it misfires for whatever reason you'll get a crankshaft position sensor failure code, which is mystifying once you figure out there is no crank position sensor on a saturn... thats their cute way of saying the ECU detected a misfire, something to do with the current drawn by the coil or something.

Overall a nice unkillable car. I also have no idea what to buy to replace it. GM doesn't want to make cars like Saturns anymore. Probably a new Toyota. My wife's old prius is basically perfect.

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872301)

...which is why people don't buy many American cars any more. Japanese makes top the reliability ratings. [consumerreports.org] , while American cars are among the worst.

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#41872339)

What does this rant have to do with the topic of the article?

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about 2 years ago | (#41872563)

What does this rant have to do with the topic of the article?

Time for a lesson in comprehension, I guess: -

It has everything to do with the topic because it plays into the whle notion of mediocrity and gimmicry, among the subject car companies. They bamboozle Americans and have been doing so for a while now.

These companies lack candor. Please convince us that they do in fact have the honesty they protray among the buying public.

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#41872713)

The topic is how Hyundai and Kia overstated fuel efficiency for certain models and is now having to compensate owners for the error.

The topic is not planned obsolescence, product mediocrity, or "gimmickery."

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about 2 years ago | (#41872843)

The topic is how Hyundai and Kia overstated fuel efficiency for certain models and is now having to compensate owners for the error.

And you think whatever was done was an error, right?

I will not blame you for that, but I will assure you that it is part of a well planned marketing gimmick by many of these companies.

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about 2 years ago | (#41872369)

Don't know where you are, but the same is true of any car outside of its domestic market.

For example I won't buy a Volvo or a VW here in Canada because the repair costs are absolutely fucking insane. The same is true of pretty much every foreign car maker outside of a select few models(not companies, models) that sell like hotcakes for some unknown(to me) reason. Even those models only the regular maintenance parts are affordable. Wait till an exhaust header cracks or a fuel pump goes.

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41872391)

Is that similar to buying a new printer because it's cheaper than replacing the carts? I remember the old days when the entire vehicle would cost less than a set of keys [drive.com.au]

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (5, Insightful)

swalve (1980968) | about 2 years ago | (#41872587)

Ridiculous. Cars are more reliable than ever, and that's because they are designed well. For god's sake, we are at a point where a car needs practically no regular maintenance. No adjusting carburetors, no cleaning points, no timing adjustments, no changing spark plugs every spring, no adjusting brakes every fall, no engine rebuilds because bearings wear out.

The tradeoff is that every now and then, a sensor fails and you have to replace it. The problem is that they are more difficult to diagnose. You need to know how the engine's control systems work, and you very often need diagnostic equipment to pinpoint which sensor is the source of the problem. Dudes who grew up fixin' on cars by feel and superstition have no idea what to do, and just throw parts at the problem until it disappears- either the problem eventually gets fixed by one of the parts, or the customer goes away.

Very few people understand the important part of machine diagnosis: narrow the failure down to which part *actually* failed. Advising customers to replace rather than repair is giving up on that- its hard to do diagnosis, so the easy way out is to just replace the whole thing.

A classic example of dumb-ass diagnosis is the oxygen sensor system in a car. There is a sensor that tests for the right mixture, and then there is a sensor after the catalytic converter that makes sure the converter is working right. If the first sensor gets stupid, the catalytic sensor will think the catalytic converter is broken, and idiots replace that sensor, and then the catalytic converter, and then throw up their hands. If you know that the first sensor can feed false information to the rest of the system, you know to test it first.

Your reasons are roght...[to some extent]... (4, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | about 2 years ago | (#41872695)

But can you explain this incompetence?

Let's focus on GM. Consider the Impala:

It sits on a 20 year old platform employing a V6 engine (which means fuel economy isn't great), whose horse power is less than some 4-cylinders! To make it worse, it will not get updated till 2014! Think about that, and you convince me. That this is not blatant gimmcry. To add insult to injury, you always hear, "American enginners are the best!"...and stuff like, "The best products are made in America!" Ohh Jeeze..!

Re:A Modus Operandi from American manufacturers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41873165)

"For god's sake, we are at a point where a car needs practically no regular maintenance. No adjusting carburetors, no cleaning points, no timing adjustments, no changing spark plugs every spring, no adjusting brakes every fall, no engine rebuilds because bearings wear out."

My 22 year old car passes this test, its carb has never needed adjustment in its life, no brake problems, no points (transistor controlled)...

Thank you (2)

dangle (1381879) | about 2 years ago | (#41873255)

People forget, or never knew, how much bigger of a pain car ownership used to be. I spent the first part of my young adult life keeping the family's '71 Super Beetle alive. Easy to fix is very different from reliable. Brakes that don't self-adjust, carburetor disassembly and cleaning to allow the engine to keep from stalling for a few more months, different starting and driving methods for different temperatures. Maybe a relaxing hobby for some, but a source of life shortening stress if you depend on it for daily transportation.

Now I look forward to the time that we feel sorry for people that had to struggle with 21st century computer hassles.

I've been getting 45 mpg in my Accent (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872225)

Not sure why the official figure is so much lower.

Dang! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41872253)

Well that sucks gass.

car accuracy YMMV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872321)

True, your mileage may vary, but due to strict govt. regulations, it's difficulty to deviate from such metrics, especially considering the technology available to measure such performance.

On the other hand, printers vastly overstate their lifetime, ppm, toner capacity, etc. Little to no oversight either by its own industry or the govt., except maybe when when it comes to recycling.

MPG ratings are worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872345)

I remember that MPG used to be under estimated. I had a 2000 Escort 5psd coupe that was rated 33MPG Highway, but when I would drive to see my friend and required me to do nearly 2 hours on the highway each way I'd routinely get 40-42MPG. On the other hand NYC is roughly 100 miles from me and in my mustang that should be about 1/4-1/3 tank based on ratings, but it was actually closer to 1/2 a tank.

Re:MPG ratings are worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872465)

Only 100 miles out of half a tank? That engine needed a review quite badly. Either that, or you must have been smuggling some illegal substances hidden in your tank.

When I go car shopping.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41872381)

I bring my scanguage II. plug it in so I can read codes and on the t est drive see REAL gas mileage numbers. Not the overly optimistic dashboard economy number.

I find that almost ALL cars are 2-6 mpg off from reality.

Re:When I go car shopping.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872473)

My rule of thumb: Cars dashboard claimed mpg - 5mpg = cars actual MPG. Roughly. Hardly exact but it tends to be rather closer than many would imagine.

British miles and gallons btw.

Re:When I go car shopping.... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41872475)

The scangauge isn't going to give you substantially more accurate readings than the trip computer in the car, when there even is one, in any but the most perplexing of situations. Its opinion of fuel delivery is based on the same information.

Re:When I go car shopping.... (1)

spd_rcr (537511) | about 2 years ago | (#41872957)

The scanguage II gets its information from the ecu via the can-bus just like the instrument cluster on the dash, and as such, is no more accurate. The only real way to properly gauge average fuel economy is by comparing the litres or gallons put in vs. the km or miles since the last fill up.
I will say that while the Kia we own doesn't get the claimed fuel economy that was on its window sticker, at least the speedometer doesn't read 8% higher like the '08 Mini Cooper S we traded in. The scanguage is only as accurate as the ecu, which is never more accurate than the sum of its sensors and calibration.

I'm one of those people affected by Kia's bogus mileage claims the most with the 6mpg difference. I traded in a Mini Cooper S for a optioned out Kia Soul Exclaim Premium. Both cars had the same ratings according to the window stickers, 28 city, 34 highway, EPA ratings have gotten significantly better (with some obvious exceptions) in recent years. I typically get about 2mpg less than sticker due to my driving style, the crappy 15+% ethanol laden gas, and the hilly terrain around where we live, but on longer drives the highway mileage always lines up if I compare the gps-read-miles and the gallons out of the gas tank. True to this finding, our Soul has been getting 6mpg less than it's rated and other owners on the Kia Soul forums say the exact same thing.
Really it's common sense and I knew the window sticker wouldn't be completely correct when we bought the car. Any time you see claims that a companies top of the line trim with much bigger, wider wheels, a larger engine, and an automatic gets the same mileage as their entry level trim with the little engine, skinny tires, and a stick shift, you know someone's not doing the math. I am a little shocked to see the EPA actually picked up on this and delivered a solution. Kudos to the guys in charge for once. I'm also pretty happy with the solution. I know some Mini-zealouts will rage on me for saying this, but our 2012 Kia is 100x nicer to drive around the city and on longer road trips than our Mnii was and it's even better now that they both are on equal (effective) gas mileage terms.

We sold our KIA due to horrible mileage (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872399)

In 2007 I bought my wife a KIA Soul
One of the main factors was the advertised mileage.
In our experience the mileage was not very good.
Even my wife commented that it was barely better than our Honda Odyssey!
Finally, earlier this year we sold it.

LOL who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872491)

They're just profiting off of stupid enviro-nazis. Every dollar less these fucking retards get is one dollar not put into supporting criminal organizations like GREENPEACE so I say good for Hyundai and let's see more companies ripping off stupid enviroMENTALists!

I am not sure I understand (1)

mordred99 (895063) | about 2 years ago | (#41872609)

I read the article (yes, I know fop-aux) but how can they "overstate" mileage? They submit the car to the EPA and the EPA tells them the numbers. There is no testing at the car manufacturers site. The EPA farms this out, but that is still the rule of law by the EPA. Were they not listing the numbers provided by the EPA? Then fine Hyundai's ass into oblivion. If they marked on the window stickers what the EPA told them, even if Hyundai knew the numbers were wrong, then there is no issues in my mind and people should sue the hell out of the EPA.

Re:I am not sure I understand (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41872773)

This is not how it works at all. The EPA actually tells the oems how to run the test and has them do their own testing and submit their fuel economy numbers. Afterwards the EPA retests ~15% of the models to make sure that the oems are not cheating.

Re:I am not sure I understand (3, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41872939)

I read the article (yes, I know fop-aux) but how can they "overstate" mileage? They submit the car to the EPA and the EPA tells them the numbers. There is no testing at the car manufacturers site. The EPA farms this out, but that is still the rule of law by the EPA. Were they not listing the numbers provided by the EPA? Then fine Hyundai's ass into oblivion. If they marked on the window stickers what the EPA told them, even if Hyundai knew the numbers were wrong, then there is no issues in my mind and people should sue the hell out of the EPA.

That's not correct. For most cars, the manufacturer's self-declare "EPA Mileage." The EPA spot-checks some models each year.

But I thought... (-1, Troll)

TWX (665546) | about 2 years ago | (#41872779)

...that corporations would do the right thing, and that the market would protect us!

At least, that's what I keep hearing on Fox News!

Lot of posts... (5, Interesting)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41872849)

...yet no mention (that I read, anyhow) of the lower numbers caused by fuel contaminated with alcohol. Interestingly enough, I live in one of the only states (if not the only state) that requires gas stations to state whether their fuel contains ethanol or not. I've driven to each and every one of the surrounding states and people looked at me funny when I asked them if their fuel was 100% gasoline. For what it's worth, I can get gas w/10% ethanol (87 octane) for $3.03 a gallon and 100%-pure (87 octane) for $3.19 a gallon. The cost savings of running the contaminated stuff (~5%) don't even begin to make up for the greatly reduced mileage I get - on anything I've driven.

And you believed them. (1)

rssrss (686344) | about 2 years ago | (#41872877)

Suckers.

"You Can't Cheat an Honest Man" (1939) by W.C. Fields.

Fields plays "Larsen E. Whipsnade", the owner of a shady carnival that is constantly on the run from the law. The whimsical title comes from a line in an earlier film, in which he says that his grandfather's last words, "just before they sprung the trap", were "You can't cheat an honest man; never give a sucker an even break, or smarten up a chump."

Consumer Reports (2)

dan14807 (162088) | about 2 years ago | (#41873159)

Ignore the EPA MPG ratings on cars. Go get an online Consumer Reports subscription, and see what their real-world testing revealed about MPG. I've been doing that for all of my car purchases (two recent, because I helped my girlfriend shop for hers).

Hyundai/Kia 2012 (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#41873475)

Why not, right? I mean, it's not like there's much independant honesty in the other ads in the 2012 race.

My RIO does what is says on the tin. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41873487)

I'm getting up to 84 (UK) MPG, against the "best" published 80mpg for my model.

I regulary get 65mpg over a tank - around 900 km per 40 lire tank.

Does real driving match the tests? No, not in any way. Sometimes it's massively better.

The really weird thing is that my wife's Focus gets 35 mpg around town, but for the same driving in my Rio, it's still the "best" 65 mpg.

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