By Deepa Seetharaman and Jonathan Stempel
DETROIT, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor Co has agreed in
principle to settle several lawsuits from U.S. consumers who
said they were duped by the automaker's misleading fuel economy
claims, according to a filing made in federal court on Tuesday.
Hyundai's affiliate Kia Motors Corp, also being sued for
overstating the fuel economy of some models, is evaluating
whether to join the settlement, according to the filing.
Both companies are facing lawsuits after announcing in early
November that they overstated the fuel economy performance on
more than 1 million recently sold vehicles by at least one mile
A settlement amount was not disclosed. Hyundai offered a
lump sum payment option as part of its settlement proposal.
Lawyers for Hyundai and the plaintiff drivers said they plan
to file more details on the settlement with the court. A hearing
to discuss the accord and how to implement it is scheduled for
The companies' admission came after a probe by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, which found errors in the
mileage ratings of 13 Hyundai and Kia models from 2011 to 2013
Both companies agreed to compensate owners for the added
fuel costs. Under the plan, customers will receive a debit card
that will reimburse them for the difference in fuel economy,
plus an extra 15 percent to acknowledge the inconvenience.
The news was a blow to Hyundai and Kia, both of which
bragged about their vehicles' superior fuel economy in
advertisements. Hyundai's "4 x 40" strategy centered on offering
four models that got 40 mpg, including the Elantra small car.
Hyundai said in Tuesday's court filing that it would offer a
lump sum option to drivers in lieu of its reimbursement plan.
Current drivers who bought one of the four Hyundai models
that claimed to get 40 mpg will get a higher lump sum payment
compensation, according to Hyundai's proposed settlement. Those
models include the Accent compact car, the hybrid version of the
Sonata sedan and the Veloster small car.
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