Kia Motors America Agrees To Resolve Litigation Pertaining To Restatement Of Fuel Economy Ratings



IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 23, 2013 -- Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced a proposed settlement of disputes that were raised by current and former owners and lessees of vehicles affected by the automaker's November 2012 restatement of fuel economy ratings. The adjustment affected approximately 300,000 2011-13 model year Kia vehicles. While today's proposed settlement agreement is valued at up to approximately $185 million, the final number will be determined by the number of customers that elect to participate in one of the settlement's lump-sum payment options or remain in the lifetime reimbursement program KMA introduced at the time of the restatement, which reimburses based on actual fuel expenses.

"Kia Motors is a responsible company, and the proposed settlement enhances our goal of making things right for our customers by providing new reimbursement options," said John Yoon, KMA Executive Vice President HR, Administration, Diversity Relations, and General Counsel. "Kia Motors is fully committed to taking care of its customers, and today's settlement adds flexibility by adding lump-sum payment options to the transparent reimbursement program introduced last year."

KMA has previously offered to provide compensation to affected owners for added fuel costs as a result of the MPG adjustments from the time of the original restatement – plus an extra 15 percent for their inconvenience. Affected owners and lessees are reimbursed based on their actual mileage and the fuel costs for the region in which they live.

To address plaintiffs' claims, including that having to repeatedly return to a dealership would deter participation in the reimbursement program, KMA and the plaintiffs agreed to add lump-sum payment options. The proposed cash lump-sum amount, which varies by vehicle and ownership type and accounts for previously received compensation, will result in an estimated average payment of about $667 for retail customers. Consumers can also elect other options such as a dealership credit of 150% of the lump sum cash payment amount, or a credit of 200% of the cash amount towards the purchase of a new Kia vehicle.

"Kia's willingness to create a way for its customers to receive all of their future extra fuel expenses in a lump sum shows they are serious about making things right for their customers," said Rob Carey, a Hagens Berman partner working on the case. "Kia stepped up – and its customers will now get a full recovery without the chores of going to the dealership or filling out paperwork for years on end."

The Court is expected to review the proposed settlement for preliminary approval in early 2014. Assuming preliminary approval is granted, notices will be sent to individual class members. Preliminary details of the settlement are available at KiaMPGinfo. A more in-depth website dedicated to the settlement will be established following preliminary approval by the Court.

About Hyundai and Kia Fuel Economy Litigation, MDL No. 2424 Following disclosure of the fuel economy ratings discrepancy in November 2012, approximately 53 complaints were filed in federal court against Hyundai and Kia and then consolidated (In re: Hyundai and Kia Fuel Economy Litigation, MDL No. 2424) in United States District Court for the Central District of California before Judge George H. Wu.

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