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The Daily Auto Insider
Hyundai Overstated Horsepower on 1.3 Million Vehicles

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Hyundai said it advertised incorrect horsepower ratings on 1.3 million cars and trucks sold in North America over the last 10 years, Reuters reported.

The figures on more than two dozen models and variants were overstated going back to the 1992 model year, Hyundai said, with an average overstatement of 4.6 horsepower on a sales weighted basis. Two vehicles had their horsepower figures understated.

The discrepancy was discovered a few months ago after the Canadian government questioned the horsepower on the Elantra. Hyundai advertised the Elantra as having 140 horsepower, but after reevaluation it was discovered the figure was actually 135.

In the worst case, Hyundai overstated the horsepower on the Sonata with a 2.0 liter engine by 9.6 percent. The Sonata's actual horsepower was 125 but marketing materials continued to advertise the rating as 137 horsepower.

"Horsepower was misstated and I think we're obligated to come forward and correct the record," Hyundai of America Chief Executive Officer Finbarr O'Neill said. "It has no impact on the safety or reliability of the vehicles...these errors had occurred because we didn't have established procedures in place to verify that our preliminary horsepower figures matched the actual horsepower."

Kia, which uses Hyundai engines in its Optima sedan, also said that its power ratings were overstated for that vehicle in model years 2001 and 2002. Kia said in a statement that it is currently notifying customers of those vehicles about this discovery and offering a choice of additional warranty coverage or an extension of their 24-hour roadside assistance plan in recognition of this inaccurate information.

Hyundai said that it will send letters to affected owners over the next few weeks offering compensation.

"I am very regretful for these errors and for any concerns it raises among Hyundai customers," said O'Neill. "We are announcing these errors because we want our relationship with our customers, our dealers, and all our business partners to be open and honest. We are also offering our assurance that we are taking aggressive measures to prevent errors of this nature from happening again."

"As an expression of goodwill and an attempt to demonstrate how important Hyundai customers are to us, we are offering certain enhancements to those individuals whose model's horsepower ratings were misprinted by more than four percent. For the 2000 model year forward we offer a choice of three warranty-enhancement options or, for 1999 model year and earlier vehicles, five-year roadside assistance coverage," said O'Neill.

The warranty-enhancement options for 2000 model year forward include:
  • Extending Roadside Assistance Benefit from five years/unlimited miles to 10 years unlimited miles
  • Extending New Vehicle Limited Warranty from five years/60,000 miles to 6 years/72,000 miles
  • Extending Powertrain Limited Warranty from 10 years/100,000 miles to 12 years/120,000 miles for original owners

The owners or lessees of the identified vehicles will receive a letter from HMA over the course of the next few weeks detailing these options and providing information on how they can be activated. In the interim, customers can obtain information about these options by contacting a special toll-free consumer hotline at 800-218-9797 or contacting http://www.hyundaistatus.com/.

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