We reported this morning that Hyundai and Kia are revising gas mileage ratings for nearly 900,000 vehicles from the 2011 through 2013 model years — about a third of the cars sold by the affiliated Korean automakers over that range.
What does it mean to you if you own one of the affected cars? We just got off the line with Hyundai and Kia officials, and here are some answers:How will I be reimbursed?
Hyundai and Kia will mail debit cards to affected consumers based on three factors: how many miles you've driven, the difference in combined EPA mileage between the re-rated numbers and the figures on your original window sticker, and the price of gas in your geographic region. Hyundai and Kia created websites — HyundaiMPGinfo.com and KiaMPGinfo.com — where you can register by Dec. 1, 2013, to receive compensation.
When does the program begin?
Kia marketing chief Michael Sprague told reporters the reimbursement calculator on KiaMPGinfo.com and HyundaiMPGinfo.com should be up by Saturday, Nov. 3. "By mid-next week or late next week, everything should be ready for people go to their dealerships," he said.
I don't have my original window sticker anymore. How do I know what my original mileage is?
Hyundai/Kia and the EPA have documented the figures. We report them here.
How much will I be reimbursed?
It depends how many miles you drive and have driven. Sprague said you'll need to visit your nearest Kia or Hyundai dealership for an odometer reading, which will factor into how much extra gas you've had to buy because of the faulty mileage ratings. Hyundai/Kia will use geographically centered fuel prices from eight U.S. regions and the Energy Information Administration's fuel-price indexes.
For example, let’s say you bought a new 2012 Hyundai Elantra in January in California. Since then, you've driven 15,000 miles.
- The original combined EPA city/highway mileage was 33 mpg. The revised EPA mileage is 32 mpg. Because of that, you've bought 468.8 gallons of gas instead of a hypothetically budgeted 454.5.
- The difference — 14.3 gallons — is calculated against the EIA's California average, $3.83 per gallon. That's $54.77.
- Hyundai/Kia will then add a "15% inconvenience bonus," Hyundai Motor of America CEO John Krafcik said. So the automaker would issue you a debit card for $62.99.
What if I bought a Hyundai that recommends premium gas, like the Genesis sedan? Will I be reimbursed at the rate for premium?
What if I sold my affected Hyundai?
You'll need to present your bill of sale, which usually will show mileage, Krafcik said. Hyundai/Kia will use that to indicate how many miles you drove, and reimbursement will be calculated accordingly.
Does the reimbursement continue as long as I own the car?
Yes. If you own an affected Hyundai, you can visit your dealership for periodic odometer readings, and they'll load more money on your debit card. "It's completely flexible," Krafcik said. "For example, if a customer was a high-mileage customer who drove 10,000 miles a month, they could come in on a monthly basis or a weekly basis to get their mileage [calculated].”
What if I bought a used Hyundai/Kia that was affected?
Hyundai and Kia officials tell us you're still eligible to receive the debit card if you bought it before today's announcement. We assume you'll need the bill of sale to show mileage at the time of purchase. Those who buy a used Hyundai or Kia after today's announcement are ineligible.
What if I bought an affected Hyundai or Kia and moved to another part of the country? Will Hyundai/Kia reimburse me using gas prices from where I currently live or where I bought the car?
From where you currently live, a Hyundai spokesman said.