A lawsuit has been lodged in California against Hyundai by a man who claims the company misled him, through advertising, about the mileage the car can attain. The Hyundai lawsuit is at least the second over mileage claims.
Hyundai lawsuit does not include Jeff Bridges
People all over the country can turn on their television and hear the voice of actor Jeff Bridges touting the 40 miles per gallon achievable in a number of Hyundai vehicles. Granted, actual mileage depends on a lot of ins, a lot of outs and a lot of what-have-yous.
Advertising can, though, be persuasive, as it led Louis Bird of Sacramento, Calif., to buy a Hyundai Elantra, as he believed that it would get 40 miles per gallon, according to AutoBlog. It didn’t, and he does not abide it at all, filing a lawsuit against Hyundai for false claims. The Hyundai lawsuit is at least the second such suit, as Honda was sued over mileage claims for the Civic hybrid.
Seeking class action status
The suit seeks class action status, as the owner, along with consumer affairs organization Consumer Watchdog, contends owners and leasers of the 2011 and 2012 Hyundai Elantra in California would also be entitled to compensation under the suit.
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Bird, according to the Los Angeles Times, logged his mileage and rarely recorded more than 29 miles per gallon. The Elantra is rated at 40 mpg highway by the Environmental Protection Agency, though Bird’s suit also contends that the company did not disclose that 40 mpg was for highway mileage, which Bird claims most of his mileage was. The EPA rates it at 29 mpg in city driving, though the company’s website says mileage has ranged among owners from 20 mpg to 40 mpg or more.
Various drive tests of the car have found mileage above and below the EPA rating. Consumer Reports observed highway mileage of 39 mpg. Hyundai noted in a press release about the suit on AutoBlog that Car and Driver achieved 41 mpg and Popular Mechanics nearly achieved 50 mpg; the magazine observed 47.6 mpg highway in a 2013 Elantra when traveling at 55 miles per hour, in a February article. However, it dropped to 39.3 at 70 mph.
Second such suit
Though all car makers advertise that “actual mileage may vary” on their websites, this is the second such lawsuit brought against a car company. The last was by Heather Peters, who filed a suit against Honda in a California small claims court last year, according to MSNBC, as Peters’ Honda Civic Hybrid never achieved the 50 mpg Honda says it is capable of. She won the suit and was awarded $9,867 in February.
However, according to ABC, Peter’s suit was overturned on appeal in May, as a judge ruled that many claims about mileage by automakers are “sales puffery” and can’t be taken as statements of fact, since actual gas mileage depends on a number of factors including ambient temperature and vehicle speed.