Hyundai Motor Co. said today that the fuel economy of the All-New Sonata sedan was less than it had previously stated, an error that could further undermine the South Korean automaker’s reliability after a slew of mileage-related lawsuits.
[ads id=”0″ style=”float:left;padding:9px;”]Unveiling the redesigned model to the media in March, 24 (you can follow clicking here), Hyundai told reporters the sedan’s fuel economy had climbed 6 percent to 12.6 kilometers per liter (29.6 mpg) from its predecessor for the 2.0-liter gasoline engine.
Hyundai, however, said today that figure was erroneous and had been based on tests at its research center. Government tests showed the mileage had actually inched up just 2 percent to 12,1 kilometers per liter (28,5 mpg). “We are very sorry for causing confusion to reporters,” Hyundai said in a statement.
Analysts said the impact of the error was likely to be short-lived as Hyundai had announced the cut before the new Sonata went on sale. The company said pre-orders of the model had topped 10,000 vehicles in four days in South Korea, the second-highest number on record.
“This may have a short-term impact on its reputation. But for the longer term, it is better for Hyundai to take quick action before controversy erupts,” said Cho Chul, a senior researcher at the government-run Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade.
Hyundai, and affiliate Kia Motors, are trying to rebuild their reputations after a string of recalls and customer lawsuits claiming that the South Korean duo overstated the fuel economies of their vehicles in South Korea and the United States.
[ads id=”0″ style=”float:left;padding:9px;”]During the event, Hyundai Motor stressed that the fuel efficiency of the new Sonata improved despite the increase in the weight of the frame. The weight of the new Sonata increased as a part of an effort to improve the driving performance and safety of the vehicle, according to Hyundai, the new Sonata will receive “Good” at Small Overlap crash test by the IIHS.
Hyundai, the world’s fifth-largest car maker with its Kia affiliate, is banking on the first restyling of the Sonata since 2009 to help reverse slowing revenue growth as it suffers falling market share at home and in the United States, its second-biggest market after China.
The Sonata is Hyundai’s second top seller after its Elantra model in the United States. Hyundai is expected to launch the new Sonata on March 24 in Korea, followed by the United States and other markets.