Sung Hwan Cho, president of Hyundai’s U.S. technical center in Michigan, said the EPA requires a complex series of tests for fuel economy, and results can vary in a number of procedures. “These were just honest procedural errors,” Cho said.
Engineers did the tests as the companies were making a large number of changes in their cars designed to improve mileage, and the changes further complicated the tests, Cho said. There are hundreds of test parameters, most of which are spelled out by EPA regulations, but “there’s also some points where we also need some interpretation,” he said.
Krafcik said the companies have fixed testing procedures and are replacing window stickers on cars in dealer inventories. Owners can be confident in their mileage stickers now, he said, adding that Hyundai will still be among the industry leaders in gas mileage.
Through October, Hyundai sold 590,000 vehicles in the U.S., up 30 percent in two years. Kia sold more than 477,000, an increase of almost 60 percent. Strong warranties and improved styling, technology and quality have vaulted them into serious competition with larger auto companies.