By Paul Rachwal
Tuesday, Nov 6th, 2012 @ 4:20 pm
 

Hyundai and Kia must be regretting their mistake when it came to the fuel economy ratings of its vehicles that much more today, as the consequences are only getting worse. Apart from having to compensate owners for the difference in fuel economy and take a hit on the brand values, the automakers also now being sued in federal court, with the case seeking class-action status.

The complaint was filed on Sunday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and seeks unspecified attorney fees along with damages for U.S. buyers or leasers of one of the 900,000 Hyundai or Kia models. There are eight Hyundai and five Kia models affected by the discrepancy. It also asks the court to let Ohio residents who bought or leased one of the vehicles to back out of their purchase or lease agreements, Automotive News reported. The suit names the parent companies of Hyundai and Kia, along with their U.S. sales divisions.

The suit was brought forward by Molly Simons, Rebecca Sanders, and Jeffrey Millar. Simons bought a 2012 Kia Rio in the spring, while Sanders and Millar, a couple, purchased a 2013 Hyundai Elantra in October.

Hyundai and Kia have since revised the fuel economy ratings of their vehicles, with most getting 1 to 2mpg lower numbers. The automakers will refund the difference in the price of gas to owners, which is estimated to cost them $362 million. The odometers will be checked at dealers and owners will get a check for the difference between the original and revised combined fuel economy, plus a 15 percent inconvenience fee.