Many of the affected models saw their recommendation drop one rating level, with the Kia Sorento, Sportage LX AWD, and Sportage EX FWD crossovers falling from a Below Average rating to Poor (the Sportage LX FWD went from Average to Below Average). Other models, such as the Hyundai Accent, slipped from Above Average to Average when equipped with a manual transmission in GLS and GS trims. The Accent GLS and SE with an automatic transmission went from Average to Below Average.
Not all Hyundai and Kia models were affected by the revised fuel economy ratings, however. The Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima midsize sedans had their existing fuel economy ratings recertified and, as a result, their IntelliChoice rankings were unaffected.
Downgraded IntelliChoice rankings aren’t the only obstacle the Korean automakers are facing. Automotive News reports that a federal lawsuit was filed Sunday, with the complaint seeking class-action status and unspecified damages for consumers who purchased vehicles with the optimistic fuel economy ratings. The automakers have already said they would compensate current owners with debit cards to cover the cost of fuel calculated by the difference in the new and old EPA combined cycles, the number of miles driven, and local fuel costs, plus an extra 15 percent.
To see the revised IntelliChoice ratings of affected Hyundai and Kia models, click over to Automotive.com to see the full chart with the old and new fuel costs associated with ownership.