New Lawsuit Filed against Hyundai and Kia over Mileage Issue Approximates Basic Economic Damage at $775 Million


Attorneys describe automakers' reimbursement program as a "runaround to avoid paying what's due."

SEATTLE – Hagens Berman, a consumer-protection law firm with extensive experience litigating automotive defect and liability cases yesterday filed a second proposed class-action lawsuit against Hyundai Motor America, owned by Hyundai Motor Company of Korea (KSE: 005380.KS), and Kia Motors America, owned jointly by Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motor Company of Korea (KSE: 000270.KS), illustrating how owners and lessees are allegedly harmed by proposed reimbursement programs for overstated mileage estimates.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Central California, challenges the automakers' proposed reimbursement scheme for owners and lessees. The companies have announced they intend to reimburse owners for the difference in the companies' reported fuel economy rating and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating based on local fuel prices only, but with no reimbursement after a vehicle's sale date.

To receive the proposed reimbursement, Hyundai and Kia owners would be required to visit a dealership to verify mileage and thereafter fill out "claim forms" every year to recover what the lawsuit alleges could plainly be determined right now.

The complaint claims that the economic harm suffered by Hyundai and Kia buyers could easily approach $775 million dollars. Rob Carey, attorney for the plaintiffs, noted that these programs create obstacles that will make it unnecessarily difficult and time-intensive for consumers to collect the modest sums owed to them for increased fuel costs.

"We think Hyundai's program falls well short of making this right for consumers," said Carey. "Making owners bring their cars in for an odometer check and forcing them to reapply every year for monies due today are enacted purely to shirk financial responsibility."

According to Carey, the companies also refuse to pay for the reduced value of the vehicles if sold or traded in. "To be sure, new buyers know the corrected MPG, so they aren't harmed," said Carey. "But now that the lower MPG rating is public, current owners will face a definite drop in the value of the car when trying to sell it or trade it in. Leaving this loss out of the equation is just plain wrong."

The lawsuit seeks to represent all consumers who own or lease Hyundai and Kia vehicles whose EPA fuel economy ratings were less than the fuel economy rating produced by the applicable federal test.

Hyundai admitted it overstated the fuel-economy estimates on Nov. 2, 2012, after independent tests by the EPA showed a discrepancy.

According to published reports, Hyundai will lower fuel-consumption estimates on most Hyundai and Kia models produced in 2012 and 2013. It will reportedly lower estimates by as much as five miles-per-gallon for its Kia Soul Eco., and by one or two miles-per-gallon for most other models.

The suit was brought on behalf of 23 Hyundai and Kia owners who allege they suffered economic losses.

The suit contends that Hyundai violated California's Unfair Competition Law; its false advertising law, and its Consumer Legal Remedies Act. The suit also claims that Hyundai committed a breach of express warranty and committed fraud and negligent misrepresentation under California Common Law, among other violations.

Individuals who purchased a 2012 or 2013 Hyundai or Kia vehicle are encouraged to contact Hagens Berman to discuss the case. Consumers can contact an attorney by calling 602-224-2650. They can also email the firm at

More information about this lawsuit is available at

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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in nine cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List seven times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.

Ashley Klann

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“The Ninth Circuit’s Hyundai decision resets the law on approval of class action settlements to what lawyers and trial judges had long understood it to be,” said Hagens Berman managing partner Steve Berman, who argued the appeal to the en banc court. “The Ninth Circuit has also upheld a strong settlement for consumers. The court noted, among the benefits, ‘tens of millions of dollars’ recovered for the class and approved the district judge’s ‘admirable’ handling of the settlement proceedings. As class counsel, we are gratified by these conclusions and look forward to distributing the settlement to class members.”

On June 6, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, issued its decision affirming the judgment of the trial court approving the settlement. This ruling was a significant victory for class members who registered for settlement benefits, and it brings the proceedings in the Ninth Circuit to a close. This decision means that the Ninth Circuit has made its final ruling approving the settlement.

Payments to class members must still await the completion of the appeal process. The objectors who brought the appeal in the Ninth Circuit now have the right to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. The Supreme Court agrees to hear appeals only in very rare cases – around only 3 percent of the time. Under the Settlement Agreement, settlement benefits will be paid after any petition for review by the U.S. Supreme Court is resolved. If the objectors do not seek review in the Supreme Court, the settlement will become final in early September and payments made shortly after. If the objectors do seek review in the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court declines to hear the case, we expect that process to conclude in late 2019.

07/28/18: Case Update

On July 27, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the petition for rehearing before the full Ninth Circuit panel (all 24 active judges on the court) to reconsider the decision. The hearing  was held Sept. 27, 2018. A decision is expected within several months of the hearing.

Because the appeals are still pending, the settlement administrator is unable to mail out settlement payments. We apologize for the inconvenience and will continue to provide updates via this website.

01/23/18: Case Update

On Jan. 23, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling on the objector appeals. Unfortunately, the decision does not resolve the case. The Ninth Circuit held that the settlement must be sent back to the trial court for a second look at the technical requirements for nationwide class settlements in federal court. One of the three judges on the panel dissented on the basis that the panel’s ruling goes far beyond anything the objectors argued on appeal. We agree with the dissenting judge that the ruling is wrong on all counts, and on March 8, 2018, we petitioned the full Ninth Circuit (all 24 active judges on the court) to reconsider the decision and correct it.

12/01/16: Hearing Date

On Dec. 1, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals set a hearing date for Feb. 10, 2017 in Pasadena, CA, which class counsel will attend. The Court generally advises that a decision is usually made within 3 months to a year after the hearing. Again, as it stands, the payment of settlement benefits will occur after all appeals are resolved.

10/24/16: Case Update

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a notice that our case is being considered for the Pasadena, CA February 2017 oral argument calendar. The exact date for oral argument has not been determined by the Court at this time. Again, payment of settlement benefits will occur after all appeals are resolved. 

06/07/16: Case Update

At the end of March 2016, all parties completed briefing on all appeals filed with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. We are now waiting for the Court of Appeals to set a hearing date. They have generally advised that a hearing will be set within 9-12 months of completion of briefing. The settling parties filed a request to expedite the hearing date, but the court denied the request. Again, payment of settlement benefits will occur after all appeals are resolved.

12/16/15: Case Update

A small group of objectors have filed appeals challenging the final approval of the settlement—a common occurrence in class actions. The settlement went through a lengthy two-year process of vetting and investigation under the close supervision of Judge Wu of the U.S. District Court. The Judge overruled all objections when he granted final approval of the settlement on June 11, 2015.

While it is impossible to predict the outcome of the appeals, we hope they will be resolved sooner rather than later. The payment of settlement benefits and attorney’s fees will not occur until the appeals are resolved.

  • For more information about the settlement, please visit:
          - Kia Vehicle Owners – or call the Kia Settlement Administrator at 1-888-952-4827
          - Hyundai Vehicle Owners – or call the Hyundai Settlement Administrator 1-877-277-0012

07/06/15: Claim Deadline

Deadline to submit a claim for settlement benefits.

06/11/15: Final Approval

Final Fairness Hearing held in Judge Wu’s Court. Final Order granting approval signed.

03/05/15: Opt-out and Objection Deadline

Deadline for mailing requests to be excluded/opt-out from the settlement or to make objections to the settlement.

01/05/15: Class Notice Deadline

December 2014/January 2015: class notice was mailed and emailed to class members. The deadline to mail and email class notice was 1/05/2015.

08/21/14: Announcement from Judge Wu

U.S. District Judge George H. Wu said he would be certifying the class and granting preliminary approval to the settlement potentially worth over $255 million.

11/02/12: Complaint Filed

Hagens Berman filed complaint against Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America, Inc.