The Korea Herald


Hyundai Motor wins class action lawsuit on gas mileage

By 윤정현

Published : Oct. 20, 2016 - 15:22

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[THE INVESTOR] Hyundai Motor on Oct. 20 won a class action lawsuite filed by a group of 1,890 consumers over the alleged exaggeration of the gas mileage of an SUV model.

The Seoul Central District Court said that as the result of the Transport Ministry’s fuel efficiency test on the Santa Fe 2-liter diesel SUV has not been fully substantiated, the automaker cannot be seen as having violated the Automobile Management Act.

Under the act, the mileage gap between what an automaker claims and the actual gas mileage must not exceed 5 percent. 

Hyundai Motor put the mileage of the Santa Fe model at 14.4 kilometers per liter. But in a 2014 test, the ministry tallied its fuel efficiency at 13.2 km per liter -- 8.3 percent lower than what the automaker claimed.

“The validity of the ministry’s mileage test has not been separately confirmed,” Kim Young-hak, the presiding judge, said in his ruling. “We cannot just believe the test result and say that the mileage gap exceeds 5 percent.”

The court also said that the mileage test cannot always produce the same result as the fuel efficiency can “considerably” vary according to the type of fuel and the cooling system, and other environmental conditions.

In their lawsuit, consumers demanded 414,000 per person (US$368.50) in compensation for the mileage gap.