Washington (AFP) - South Korean automakers Kia and Hyundai reached a $41.2 million settlement with US states over inflated fuel economy claims for their cars, officials said Thursday.
The settlement with 33 states and the District of Columbia was the latest fallout after the automakers were caught in 2012 artificially boosting the fuel economy ratings.
"Consumers who do thoughtful research and purchase a vehicle in line with their budget and their desire to protect the environment should be able to trust what automakers say about their cars," Karl Racine, District of Columbia attorney general, said in a statement.
Hyundai and Kia, which is partially owned by Hyundai, claimed fuel efficiency ratings of up to 40 miles per gallon (7.1 liters per 100 km) for some of their cars, exaggerating the true consumption rate by one to six miles per gallon.
About 1.1 million vehicles in the 2011-2013 model-years sold in the United States and Canada had bogus fuel ratings, the companies admitted. They both agreed in 2012 to reimburse car owners for their additional fuel costs.
Both companies also agreed in 2014 to pay a combined $300 million in fines and regulatory credit forfeitures to settle a two-year probe by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department.
The news follows this week's approval of a $14.7 billion class-action settlement of Volkswagen's case in US courts over the German automaker's emissions cheating scandal.