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星期一, 10月 31, 2016

HYUNDAI, KIA TO PAY MASSACHUSETTS MORE THAN $1 MILLION TO RESOLVE FALSE FUEL EFFICIENCY CLAIMS

HYUNDAI, KIA TO PAY MASSACHUSETTS MORE THAN $1 MILLION TO RESOLVE FALSE FUEL EFFICIENCY CLAIMS
Part of a $41.2 Million Multistate Settlement that Applies to the Sale of More Than 18,000 Massachusetts Vehicles

BOSTON – Automakers Hyundai and Kia have agreed to pay more than $1 million to Massachusetts to resolve claims that the companies misrepresented the mileage and fuel economy ratings of more than 18,000 vehicles in the state, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. The payment is part of a $41.2 million multistate settlement that resolves allegations that the companies violated state consumer protection laws. 

“We allege that these major automakers falsely advertised that their vehicles were more fuel efficient than they actually were at a time when gas prices were particularly high in Massachusetts and across the nation,” AG Healey said. “Companies cannot use false claims and deceptive practices to persuade consumers to purchase their products or to gain an unfair advantage over competitors.”

The AG’s Office filed a consent judgment in Suffolk Superior Court that is part of a resolution between 33 states and the District of Columbia and the Hyundai Motor Company, Hyundai Motor America, Kia Motors Corporation, Inc., and Kia Motors America, Inc. The consent judgment, which is subject to approval and entry by the court, concludes a multistate investigation into the companies’ representations concerning the estimated fuel economy of certain model years.

State and federal law set limits on emissions from vehicles sold in the United States. Before vehicles may be offered for sale, auto manufacturers must conduct testing under protocols mandated by government regulators and use the resulting data from that testing to support applications demonstrating their vehicles’ conformity to those standards.

In November 2012, Hyundai and Kia announced they were restating the fuel economy ratings for certain model year 2011, 2012 and 2013 vehicles after it was revealed that the companies had overstated the fuel efficiency of those vehicles. 

The states allege that Hyundai and Kia incorporated the inflated and inaccurate data into the estimated mileage ratings displayed on the window stickers of hundreds of thousands of cars in Massachusetts and across the country. The companies also allegedly capitalized on the erroneous mileage estimates by touting them in a variety of advertisements and other promotional campaigns. Attorney General Healey alleges that these actions constituted violations of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act.

Separate settlements will provide compensation to the affected car-buyers. Consumers with questions about today’s announced settlement should call the Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division at (617) 727-8400.

In addition to Massachusetts, the multistate group – led by the states of Connecticut, Iowa and Illinois – includes Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

Deputy Division Chief Shennan Kavanagh and Assistant Attorneys General Lisa Dyen and Samantha Shusterman of Attorney General Healey’s Consumer Protection Division handled this matter for Massachusetts.