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Hyundai-Kia Run Hits Bumps After A Strong Ride in the US

The storybook ride of Hyundai and Kia from off-brand import to serious competitive contender in the giant US automotive marketplace, hit a major speed bump recently when the companies settled combined federal investigations by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department for overstating fuel-economy claims.

Just five years ago, riding a quality transformation wave, South Korean car-making cousins Hyundai and Kia were the only major brands aside from Subaru to post sales increases amidst the auto market collapse.

With a payment of $100 million, and $200 million in forfeited regulatory credits, this is the largest such fine on record and could set a precedent for other car companies which have been forced to roll back mileage claims. Notably Ford and BMW Mini have recently adjusted mileage claims under regulatory scrutiny.

This fine, on top of a $400 million class action civil settlement last year, has not only lightened the purse but significantly dinged the reputation of the Hyundai and Kia which made its 40 mpg rating central to its marketing campaigns.

Dismal sales of the new version of Hyundai’s best selling Sonata spells more bad news!

This is George Polgar of GT Marketing for KYW News Radio