January 28, 2014
Agreement still subject to court approval in Ontario and Quebec
Hyundai Canada has announced they have come to a settlement agreement with plaintiffs of a fuel economy class action suit which sees owners of affected models getting the choice of a lump sum payment as compensation versus the ongoing Hyundai Fuel Reimbursement Program.
The class action was in response to misstated fuel economy numbers, due to what Hyundai calls “procedural errors at Hyundai’s testing operations in Korea”, for the following Hyundai models:
- 2013-2013 Hyundai Accent
- 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra
- 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe
- 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT
- 2012-2013 Hyundai Genesis (sedan)
- 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
- 2011-2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
- 2012-2013 Hyundai Tucson
- 2012:2013 Hyundai Veloster
Combined highway/city fuel economy numbers were misstated between 0.2-0.8L/100km, depending on model.
The agreement is valued at an estimated $46.65 million. It follows a similar agreement made between Hyundai and plaintiffs in the United States. Kia Canada is not mentioned in the release.
Currently, the Hyundai Fuel Reimbursement Program offers compensation to customers depending on gas prices in their region and how much they drive. This reimbursement program is valid for as long as you own or lease the vehicle and there is no cap on individual reimbursement amounts.
If courts in Ontario and Quebec approve the agreement, customers electing for a lump sum payment will no longer be eligible for the voluntary reimbursement program. Customers who are already part of the voluntary reimbursement program and elect for a lump sum payment will receive the lump sum amount minus any monies already received under the voluntary program.
“Consumers can also elect other options, such as a dealership credit of 150 percent of the lump sum cash payment amount, or a credit of 200 percent of the cash amount toward the purchase of a new Hyundai vehicle,” said Hyundai in a release.
Lump sum payment amounts will be made public once the agreement receives approval from the courts, at which time all affected owners will be notified.
UPDATE: Kia Canada has also come to agreement with plaintiffs. Their press release is below the Hyundai press release.
The affected Kia models are as follows:
- 2011-2012 Kia Optima Hybrid
- 2012-2013 Kia Rio
- 2012-2013 Kia Soul
- 2012-2013 Kia Sportage, Sportage AWD
- 2012-2013 Kia Sorento LX (AT) GDI, Sorento AWD LX (AT) GDI
Approximately 41,000 Kia vehicles are affected and the settlement agreement is valued at up to approximately $23 million.
The exact same rules apply for Kia customers as they do Hyundai customers for lump sum payment.
Full press releases below.
Hyundai Reaches Agreement in Canadian Class Action Litigation Following Restatement of Fuel Economy Ratings
Auto Company Pleased to Secure an Agreement for Cases and Provide Affected Owners with Choice of Alternative “Lump Sum” Reimbursement
MARKHAM, Ont. – Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. today announced that it has entered into an agreement with plaintiffs representing current and former owners and lessees of vehicles affected by the auto company’s November 2012 restatement of fuel economy ratings. The adjustment affected approximately 130,000 Hyundai 2011-2013 model year vehicles, increasing their combined city/highway fuel consumption by 0.2-0.8 L/100km. While today’s agreement is valued at up to $46.65 million in cash compensation plus other available options, that number is dependent on how many customers elect to participate in the settlement’s one-time lump sum payment option or remain in the existing reimbursement program Hyundai introduced at the time of the restatement.
“We are pleased with the proposed settlement, which we believe once again demonstrates Hyundai’s commitment to taking care of its customers,” said Faithlyn Hemmings, Senior Legal Counsel at Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.
At the time of the restatement, Hyundai provided a reimbursement program to cover the additional fuel costs associated with the rating change – plus a 15 percent premium in acknowledgement of the inconvenience – to customers for as long as they owned or leased an affected vehicle. Affected owners and lessees are compensated based on their actual kilometers driven and the fuel costs for the region in which they live.
“While customers have responded favorably to the original reimbursement program, today’s settlement is designed to provide them with an additional compensation option, again intended to make customers fully whole for Hyundai’s fuel economy ratings restatement,” said Hemmings.
“Hyundai should be commended for doing the right thing and resolving this issue with its customers. The fact that a class member is able to choose one of a variety of lump sum payments, or to remain in the reimbursement program, provides real benefits to this large class of customers,” said Michael Peerless of Siskinds LLP, the lead plaintiff lawyer involved in the settlement.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, a single lump sum payment will be provided as an option to the original reimbursement program. The lump sum payments will vary by type of vehicle, and will be reduced for any amounts already received through Hyundai’s existing reimbursement program. For example, an individual owner who purchased a new 2012 Elantra would receive a lump sum payment of $361, minus any previous reimbursement payments. Affected Hyundai owners may elect the one-time lump sum cash payment or remain in the auto company’s ongoing reimbursement program for as long as they lease or own the affected vehicle; the choice is theirs. Consumers can also elect other options, such as a dealership credit of 150 percent of the lump sum cash payment amount, or a credit of 200 percent of the cash amount toward the purchase of a new Hyundai vehicle.
Courts in Ontario and Quebec are expected to review the agreement for approval in early 2014. Assuming approval is granted, notices will then be provided to all affected customers.
KIA Canada Resolves Litigation Relating to Restatement of Fuel Consumption Ratings
Automaker Pleased to Reach Agreement and Provide Affected Customers with Alternative Reimbursement Options Including a Lump Sum Cash Payment
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Kia Canada Inc. today announced that it has reached an agreement with current and former owners and lessees of vehicles affected by the automaker’s November 2012 restatement of fuel consumption ratings. The adjustment affected approximately 41,000 2011-13 model year Kia vehicles. While today’s proposed settlement agreement is valued at up to approximately $23 million, the final number will be determined by the actual number of customers that elect to participate in one of the settlement’s lump-sum payment options, or instead to remain in the lifetime reimbursement program Kia Canada introduced at the time of the restatement, which reimburses based on actual fuel expenses.
“Kia Canada is pleased with the proposed agreement, which demonstrates Kia’s ongoing goal of ensuring our customers are fairly compensated,” said Kay Nguyen, Managing Legal Counsel Kia Canada Inc. “Kia Canada is fully committed to customer satisfaction, and this proposed settlement provides flexibility for our customers by adding additional payment options to the existing reimbursement program that Kia previously introduced.”
Kia Canada has already established a program that provides compensation to affected owners for added fuel costs as a result of the fuel consumption ratings adjustments at the time of the original restatement – plus an extra 15 percent for any inconvenience. Affected owners and lessees are reimbursed based on their actual kilometers driven and the fuel costs for the region in which they live.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Kia Canada and the plaintiffs agreed to add lump-sum payment options. The proposed cash lump-sum amount varies by vehicle and ownership type and accounts for previously received compensation and will be reduced by any amounts already received through Kia Canada’s existing reimbursement program. Consumers can also elect other options such as a dealership credit of 150% of the lump sum cash payment amount, or a credit of 200% of the cash amount towards the purchase of a new Kia vehicle.
“Today’s agreement clearly articulates Kia’s willingness to take care of its customers, and Kia should be commended for doing the right thing,” said Michael Peerless of Siskinds LLP, the lead plaintiff lawyer involved in the settlement. “This settlement provides additional options for consumers by allowing them to choose from a number of lump sum payment options, which provides a real benefit to the class of consumers.”
Courts in Ontario and Quebec are expected to review the agreement for preliminary approval in early 2014. Assuming approval is granted, notices will be sent to all affected class members.