Consumer Watchdog reaches out to EPA to investigate Hyundai Elantra 40 mpg claim

2012 Hyundai Elantra

Consumer Watchdog has reached out to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about false EPA ratings on the popular Hyundai Elantra, asking them to investigate the model.

A letter was written to the EPA after Consumer Watchdog noticed that the Elantra had many more complaints then average in regards to the MPG rating. While Hyundai claims the model gets an average of 33 MPG at 29/40 city/highway, consumers are getting in the mid-20’s on average, which is a significant difference.

Gasoline remains well above $3 a gallon and MPG is a key factor for car buyers, who expect to match the window-label MPG if they drive carefully,” said Judy Dugan, research director for Consumer Watchdog. “A loss of 6 or 7 miles per gallon, a conservative average for the Elantra based on tests and complaints, adds up to real money for drivers.”

Click here for more news on the Hyundai Elantra.

Some of the contents of the letter included the following:

“For the two most recent model years, Hyundai Motors has actively marketed its base models of the Elantra on their very high 29/40 MPG, and 33 MPG average, leaving a trail of disappointed drivers. An Edmunds online Town Hall discussion on the Elantra attracted scores of drivers who can’t; no matter how hard they try, duplicate such numbers. One very public example of this was USA Today tech writer Jefferson Graham, whose Sept. 22 article on his new Elantra expressed his disappointment that he averaged only 22 MPG, a gap that no “break-in” period seems likely to fill.

The letter continues to provide more examples of reported instances where the Elantra’s MPG claims just couldn’t be reached, including more than one Motor Trend Article, and Consumer’s Union findings. Along with requests for the model to be re-tested, Consumer Watchdog suggested that if findings fall short of the original claims that Hyundai be fined and consumers be compensated.

Refresher: Power for the 2011 Hyundai Elantra comes from a 1.8L inline 4-cylinder engine that makes 148-hp (10 more horsepower than outgoing model) and 131 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the Elantra returns an EPA rated 28/40 mpg (city/highway). The 40 mpg highway rating is 5 more mpgs than the outgoing Elantra model. Prices start at $14,830 and top out at $21,980.

– By: Alexandra Koken