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Hyundai Elantra/Sonata MPG Class Action Lawsuit Tentatively Certified

By Sarah Pierce


Hyundai SonataA federal judge yesterday said he plans to certify a class action lawsuit accusing Hyundai Motor America of falsely advertising the fuel economy of its Elantra and Sonata models.

Hyundai and Sonata buyers sued the Korean automaker earlier this year after discovering their cars were not receiving 40 mpg as advertised. U.S. District Judge George H. Wu said the case “is probably going forward as a class in some way, shape or form” after tentatively ruling the class action lawsuit should be limited to California consumers because Elantra and Sonata buyers in other states aren’t covered by California’s consumer protection laws.

Judge Wu based his decision on evidence the plaintiffs presented showing Hyundai engaged in an extensive advertising campaign that touted the Elantra and Sonata as receiving 40 mpg on the highway. Judge Wu said the marketing efforts were extensive enough that consumers could have relied on the ads in making their decision to buy the vehicles.

“Plaintiffs have exhaustively detailed the extensive scope of the challenged advertising,” Judge Wu said in tentatively granting class certification of the Hyundai Elantra/Sonata class action lawsuit. “It appears almost impossible for Hyundai to dispute the extensive sweep of its marketing efforts as to the fuel efficiency of the Elantra and Sonata vehicles.”

The Hyundai fuel economy class action lawsuit focuses on the way the company advertised its fuel economy numbers, alleging the ads did not comply with regulations about how EPA mileage estimates are to be displayed.

Hyundai has been the target of multiple class action lawsuits and an investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its allegedly inflated fuel economy numbers for a variety of vehicles.

In November, the EPA announced that Hyundai and its sister company Kia has overstated the gas mileage on nearly 35% of their 2011-2013 model-year vehicles.

The tentatively certified Hyundai Elantra/Sonata Gas Mileage Class Action Lawsuit case is Kehlie R. Espinosa v. Hyundai Motor America, Case No. 12-cv-00800, U.S. District Court, Central District of California.

The Plaintiffs are represented by Richard D. McCune, Elaine S. Kusel and Jae K. Kim of McCuneWright LLP.



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Updated November 30th, 2012


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  • Anonymous November 30, 2012

    Have owned a Hyundai vehicle since2006…Models were/are: Hyundai 350GX, Hyundai Azera…Hyundai Genesis…After all these years I finallyheard about false/misstating gasoline milage. I hope something will happen, and us folks can be reimbursed for the true mileage/shown mileage, etc.
    Loretta Gosalvez

    • nancy April 1, 2014

      Feel I was told another lye. I fell in love with the color, then got even more interested in the gas mileage warranties. I am stuck w a car payment and dumping more $ in the tank then I thought. I pray for justice!!

  • Natalie Stein December 30, 2012

    I’m glad that someone has started this class action. I don’t live in California, so I’d appreciate advice for a Rhode Islander wanting to file. My 2012 Sonata never gets more than 26 mpg on a combined tank of gas.

  • Angela Boles January 1, 2013

    I bought my 2013 Sonata back in November with the hope of getting 35 highway and 24 city combined at 28 mpg… I am extremely disappointed that my window sticker as well as my sales guy talking me up on the gas mileage was a complete lie. My vehicle only get 24 miles to the tank. We brought this up with the service department and were told that this is extremely weird and they have never heard this coming from any sonata owner besides us. Apparently we are not alone in this situation. Thank you for starting this class action lawsuit.

  • Teala Ellis January 2, 2013

    I live in Indiana, my 2011 Sonata, only averages 27-30mpg. combined hyway-city. would like info. on class action suit in Indiana or nationwide.

  • Hank Reese January 2, 2013

    We purchased our 2013 Hyundai ELantra GT Oct 17 after doing what we thought was credible research! Today we get 28 MPG highway–that is a far cry from the advertised EPA number! I am extremely upset as we could have purchased any other car and had better results! We want a class action lawsuit–we are in Nc–so much for burning less carbon. I know I have a car for sale and that I will never but another Hyundai PERIOD!

  • Jane Jewell January 3, 2013

    We purchased our 2011 Elantra Limited in March of 2011. We also research and at the time gas was going way up and I was commuting 45 miles a day we made the decision to go with the Elantra for the 40 mpg. In the very beginning we got in the 30’s but we now consistantly get 27-28mpg. I have all my gas receipts proving this. I complained constantly to my service department, but was always told there was nothing wrong with the car. At one point I was told maybe it was my driving. I now refuse to return to that dealership for my repairs. A year after I bought my car I received a dealership offer to buy by car as a trade in for $12,000. That was half of what I paid for it in one year. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. What a slap in the face. You can’t tell me they did not know they were lying. I was a Hyundai owner from years back when they had the worst reputation and they even pulled my transmission from my Sonata to use in a lawsuit to prove if you maintain your car per their requirements there shouldn’t be any problems with the transmissions. Well I no longer have any faith in Hyundai. I do not want to take their Debit card offer cause I feel they owe us way more than that.

  • Michael Tarsan January 7, 2013

    Ok people, Hyundai is not the only manufacturer to practice this. Read ANY window sticker and it will state that your vehicle will get anywhere from 3-5mpg more/less than the “estimated” number says on the sticker. Vehicles are tested in perfect conditions at a constant speed and do not resemble real life driving. I have a 2011 Sonata and get a combined 27mpg but on the highway I get 35mpg which is more than the 33mpg the window sticker says and that is at 79mph. You can take 3 cars built on the same day with all the same options and get 3 different MPG readings based on how people drive. I have been in the auto service repair business for over 15 years for 7 different manufacturers, mpg is always a complaint no matter what car make it is.

  • Marilyn Ser January 8, 2013

    I bought my Hyundai Limited edition plus an extra $1,500.00 for the wrap around warranty, in Jan 2012 ONLY because of the advertised mileage, as I do quite a lot of driving for my job.
    What a let down!!!
    I average 24/27 mpg., if I am lucky, I spoke with the dealership after I had the car for 2 months and was told I need to do around 7,000 miles then the higher mileage per gallon would kick in……it didn’t.
    I had the choice of so many new cars at the time I purchased my Elantra, but only because of the advertised mileage and the assurance of the dealership that I would be getting 40 mpg., I went ahead and made the purchase.
    I still have my previous car a pontiac vibe that is now 10 years old and does the same mileage as my new Elantra!
    I live in Florida and I am now going to investigate the laws here to see what can be done.

  • mark desrochers January 11, 2013

    I bought my 2013 Hyundai Elantra solely because promised fuel economy. There were so many other vehicles I could have chosen from and I’m quite perturbed at how my EPA is not as claimed.I would like to join this class action lawsuit for California or nationwide.

  • KBorsum January 14, 2013

    Hyundai includes mandatory arbitration for any disputes in their purchase contracts, and reinforces this when you register your rebate card. How does this impact the class action lawsuits??
    for the advertised 40/33/29 on my 2013 Elantra, I’m happy to get 33/27/22! $70 a year rebate is an insult. My math says $400-500 is more in line with reality.
    So, How do I join the lawsuit? And should I go ahead and accept the pittance offered?

  • angela tognotti January 21, 2013

    I am so disappointed in my 2013 elantra gas millage. I bought the car specifically because of the promised mileage.
    I have always bought american made cars and I feel I was coned. Now Hyundai is offering a gas rebate program which I signed up for only to find that after driving 8,000 miles they will rebate me$34.00. I have not cashed that rebate in as of yet because I feel they should be doing something more. I have dropped down form a 6 cylinder to a four cylinder and loss power without gaining much increased mileage.. I have not gotten more then 27 combined mileage. What a rip off.

  • Sharon Wilson January 21, 2013

    Want to talk to anyone who is handling this case. I recently took my car in, unaware of this lawsuit, and had the dealer “reset” my avg mpg. When I dropped off my car it was at 28 and when I left it was up to 34? I have pictures to prove…wondered why that happened and then heard about the lawsuit.

  • A and B Slankard January 22, 2013

    Same story for us, sold an 08 ford fusion that got 17mpg to get a car better on gas. Recently averaged multiple fill ups, average over 4 fill up’s was 21 mpg combined. Thats terrible! get 22 around town and on trips most we got was 31-33. Way less then advertised. Very disappointed and now we have a car payment unlike before. Shouldn’t of sold our fusion:( Could understand 26 or 27 mpg around town but 22! yikes. Had a fuel evaluation today from the dealership and he drove it 30 miles.. 20 on the hwy and 10 around town. said he got 26 city and 46 hwy. What are we doing wrong? how can they get that! something is fishy. I can smell it.

  • Richard January 22, 2013

    Bought 2013 Elantra Sept 8,2012 because advertised 41MPG. Only get 27-28 average MPG. Called and reported to dealership several times, was rudely told they had never had any complaints and some customers even got better MPG than 40 constistently. FRUSTRATED!!! Salesman kept telling us when we were looking at Elantra how awesome the mileage was >41MPG. NEVER,NEVER NEVER. EXTREMELY UPSET. Would never have purchased this car!! FALSE ADVERTISING!

  • Melanie Mullins February 1, 2013

    I have the same story as everyone else. Bought my Elantra, because of that 40 mpg claim….averaging around 27 now…..down from the 30 my Toyota was getting. I have signed up for the gas rebate program but have not activated the card because I do not want to abrogate my right to arbitration. Anyone know of anything going on in NY??

  • Patsy Tyre February 3, 2013

    I bought a 2013 Sonata because of the higher mile.age. I drive mostly in town and I’m getting 16 to 18 miles on the average. This sucks! I traded iin. my 2001 dodge intreped that I was getting 22 to 24What a let down!! I want to get on board on this law suite.

  • Paul Gissinger February 3, 2013

    I bought an 2012 Elantra and traded for a 2013 Sonata, gas milage on both cars were not what was promised. I am l so frustrated with the money I’m paying in gas, that tonight I signed a contract, selling my Sonata, for a $7000 loss and buying an electric car! The gas rebate is a total JOKE! How do I sign up to get on this law suit?

  • Rene Morris February 11, 2013

    Bought my 2011 Sonata Hybrid because of the fuel mileage. The first couple of tanks showed decent MPG’s but started to drop into the lower 30 range. I started to calculate the MPG with each fill up and discovered the stated on screen is usually 3-4 better than actual. What’s with that? I received my debit card last week. It was $59 for 20k miles!!! What an insult! now I’m wondering how the misrepresentation has affected the value when I sell which will be the real insult. Wondering how to be included in the class action suit ….

  • Janie DeMarco February 15, 2013

    Yes, I too, would like to know how to get in on this class action law suit; I just heard about it. I have been so frustrated that my 2012 Elantra is not getting near the gas mileage that I was told it would and was the primary reasn that I bougt it!!!! Very, very upsetting!!! Every time I would call in and complain about it, I was always told “oh, you have to get it broken in”…….I now have almost 15,000 miles and average 24/25 mpg. It’s a rip off!

  • Sandy Yoder February 22, 2013

    Im feel so betrayed on my 2013 hyundai Sonata I bought 2 months ago with 9 miles on it..beautiful car but the GAS milage is horrible.I lucky if I get 20 miles a gallon a 4 cyclinder to boot!! this cimpany needs to make this right I feel like all I do is put gas in it has 1900 miles on it now.The day I purchased the car sales person was so nice and said this car is perfect for my needs but he was so wrong and this has been eating at me because of this gas milelage crap.I now have a piece of felt covering the little area on the dash where it shows the mileage it makes me so mad..My husband is driving a 1988 F 150 with a 6 cyclinder in it and almost 300,000 miles on it and it is making my Brand new car look bad..What a shame I think Hyundai should take responsibility for s very false advertisement about the milage.I just hope I don’t have a nervous breakdown before something is done and that could be another issue..I had been driving a 2003 Toyota Camry that got better gas mileage, should have stuck with Toyota’s..I can go on and on but lets the lawyers go after them and hope for the best…Because GAS is not getting in cheaper I don’t want to work all week long just to put gas in the car everytime I turn around I do have other bills not just gas pump bills okay done venting …I just hope justice is served!!! Thanks for reading.

  • Mark March 1, 2013

    I purchased a 2012 Hyundai Accent about a year ago with my top criteria being MPG. They were only our first choice because of the lower MPG. I have a long daily drive and MPG is critical in our budget. The salesman not only touted the 40 MPG but also the highest resale in its class. We were never able to achieve even close to the 40 MPG advertised, even after being more aware of our driving habits. We received a letter from Hyundai admitting to the error and offered to compensate our MPG difference in the form of a gas card. Feeling insulted and betrayed we returned to the dealer asking for them to buy it back. At the time we owed $16,300.00, they offered $11,500.00 stating that they had reduced the sticker price of new ones that were now advertised at a new lower MPG and in turn now our car was at a lower value. I exclaimed that I was selling them back a “40 MPG car”. We are now driving our 10 year old Mazda that gets about the same mileage and no car payment. I will accept nothing less than a buy back from Hyundai and will never own or suggest anyone buy any of their products. So now we have a car sitting in the driveway that we are making payments on that neither gets close to the advertised MPG or has the best resale value in its class. I want the 40 MPG highest resale value car that I paid for. We are awaiting the outcome of the class action suit to see if our legal system will indeed protect us.

  • Denise Rider March 6, 2013

    I bought my first new car ever in Aug 2012-a 2013 Hyundai Sonata. The car was purchased for gas mileage and handling. I also bought extended warranity. Have had car back several times and was told I have poor gas mileage because of the way I drive . They test drove and claimed to get 34 mpg highway and stated car needs to be broken in with at leastat 5000 miles. I calculate mileage the old way with no Computer and avg 16-18 mpg overall. Disheartened and paying for more gas than with my 16 year old 6 cylinder Lumina. Hope lawsuit makes things right!

  • bob palmer March 11, 2013

    yes i have a 2012 sonata hybrid i got it 9-30-12 poor mileagee from the start. i to got it for the mileage hey 35/40 sounded great. but i get 24.30 c/h i was told i needed tog et to the first ol change 3500 milea did it and the mileage got wors. i complained to the saleman so much that they gave hime a new email address and i don’t know it. even the service manager will not return my mail. or calls. so now i’m all over the internet running down this car and telling everyone i see not to get one. my 06 cobalt blows the doors off the hsh for mpg. sad day. and they tell me i don’t drive it correctly i even offered 100 to anyone that can take my car and get it to 35 mpg and prive it to me no takers. even the hyundai forum has people with this problem and some there say we don’t drive it correctly and that site will not take my offer either can’t be done and theya ll know it.

  • Herb Thau April 4, 2013

    We have a 2013 Hyundai Sonata that gets horrible gas
    milage. City and highway is 19.90 and all highway is
    No where near what Hyundai advertized. This is our
    third Hyundai Sonata and by far it gets the worst gas
    mileage of them all.
    Went for service with filled out mileage forms for over
    1200 miles. Dealer said car is fine and told me to call
    Hyundai. Result of call to Hyundai a waste of time.
    Next step is my filling out the Consumer Report form I
    received in the mail yesterday.
    I am now researching class action lawsuits.
    Herb Thau

  • Gerard April 7, 2013

    Love the 2011 Sonata have had great service and friendly people to work with at our local dealership in Mattoon IL Am disappointed that fuel economy can not reach advertised number. Only other item that bothers me is the inability to add remote start do to only having the ability to have two pods on push to start model.

  • gloria June 17, 2013

    I recently bought a 2013 Sonata and the sticker states an average of 28. I drive mainly city; it stays anywhere from 28 to 32. If you gun the gas pedal on take off and stopping hard then you are killing your mpg. I love my car and every new car I have bought has never given me exactly the mileage stated.

  • Pearl Reynolds September 9, 2013

    what can I expect from this law suite
    I have 2007 sonata

  • Gary Wasden September 15, 2013

    We purchased a 2013 Hyundai Sonata on 12-13-2012. The primary reason was the EPA gas mileage of 28 overall, 24 city, and 35 highway. After almost 9000 miles the mpg has been 21 overall, with several tanksful under 20. Our driving is always a mix of freeway and city. For 12 years we got 20 to 21 mpg overall from a 1999 Avalon – a much heavier luxury car with a V6 engine. Yet both Hyundai Motors and the dealers claim that it must be the way we drive. They also claim that it will improve after 10,000 miles which is contrary to all of our experience with other cars. It is also contrary to what other drivers are posting on the internet. Early on they claimed that COSTCO gasoline was the problem. We have been using mainly Chevron and Shell for the last 6000 miles and have had no improvement. This is a nice car, but the mpg ruins our experience. If we wanted luxury car mileage, we would have bought another Avalon. We wish we had.

  • Roger Thomas September 19, 2013

    I leased a 2013 Sonata hoping for the 24 mpg city claim. After 1700 miles, my lowest has been 14.6 with an overall average of 21 mpg (after a few long highway trips). That’s about 90 percent city and 10 percent highway driving. Clearly, in my opinion, false advertising on Hyundai’s part. I’m an older male who drives carefully with no hot-rodding. On the other hand, my wife’s 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe gets an average city mpg of 15.6. It’s registered for only 15 city. The dealership gave me the same “BS” about the mileage, “Oh, it’s a new engine and really tight, wait until about 3k miles and we can investigate”, and my favorite, “Valero gas is as bad as Arco, you need to use Chevron or Shell”. The service tech couldn’t even look me in the eye whey they made those statements.

  • annie September 29, 2013

    I bought a 2011 sonata about 5 months ago and within the 1st week I noticed that I was only getting about 18 miles to the gallon. I am so disappointed and mad. how do I join the lawsuit. I drive the same distant everyday going the same speed 60 mph and it is all highway. On the weekends when I’m off I just park the car because I can not afford the gas. My car has 42,000. I lve in NJ and travel the turnpike so can someone please tell me why I am not getting at least 27 miles to the gallon

  • gloria young December 4, 2013

    I bought a 2006 hyundia sonata didnt get very good gas milage and my airbag light aways on , this car also have a lot of defects to many to list.

  • Christina December 31, 2013

    Have owned our 2011 Hyaundai Sonata since 2011 and am UTTERLY DISAPPOINTED in it’s promised and overstated gas milage – getting 18 mpg on average – nowhere near the upwards of 35 – 40 as promised. Sole reason for the purchase was the great gas milage.

    Would very much like to join the lawsuit!

  • David February 14, 2014

    2013 Elantra here. Dealer claimed 38 MPG. I get 26. Disgusted. Hope I am part of the class action. Clearly overstated figures.

  • Pam August 10, 2014

    I live in VA and would like to know if my 2011 Sonata I can get any money out of this. 26-27 milage.

    Let me know

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