Hyundai, the popular automotive company, has confirmed that it will be removing the “40 Miles Per Gallon” claim that it made about one of its vehicles, the Elantra, which was featured during the Super Bowl on Sunday. The Consumer Watchdog wanted this claim omitted because they believe it is misleading to consumers. However, Hyundai says that while they have omitted the claim from the advertisement, their decision was not influenced by the opinions of Consumer Watchdog.
Consumer Watchdog asked Hyundai to provide clarification of its claims, after reviewing the advertisement that will be featured during the Super Bowl. The advertisement was place on a YouTube page and the claim was made on the side of the YouTube channel screen. Consumer Watchdog made plans to show consumers a counter advertisement, which would prove that the 40 MPG claims were misleading and typically false. The advertisement, which was produced by Consumer Watchdog, would show that after a series of tests, only 29 MPG was achieved with the Elantra, which is a total of 12%, less than what Hyundai was claiming on the advertisements.
Consumer Watchdog was so serious about the situation, the even asked the Environment Protection Agency to re-do a test of the Elantra, both the 2011 and 2012 edition. And, reports prove that the vast majority of drivers of the Elantra have much difficulty reaching 40 MPG, as the claim seemed to promise.
Consumer Watchdog has been cracking down on cases like this, especially after an owner of a Honda Civic Hybrid managed to win a small claims lawsuit in California, after challenging the company on its misleading and downright false MPG claims.
Jamie Court, the president of Consumer Watchdog, has said, “Consumers who increasingly buy cars on the basis of high miles per gallon—then can’t get close to the posted figure—are justifiably angry.” Court also says, “Hyundai’s omission of its touted ’40 MPG’ claim in its Super Bowl ads, after making a very big deal of it in earlier advertising, shows that the company is hearing the hoofbeats of consumer outrage.”
The letter that was addressed to Hyundai from Consumer Watchdog asked for a response by Thursday, stating that they would stop the promotion of their counter advertisement if they received a response. In the letter that Consumer Watchdog wrote to the automotive makers, it said, “Should you intend to sneak the 40 MPG claim into your advertisement at the last moment then we offer you this challenge: Will Mr. Krafcik take the 40 MPG challenge and drive to the Super Bowl on a full tank of gasoline based exactly on that calculation, starting precisely that number of miles away? If you are not ready to do so, you should not tell 111 million U.S. Super Bowl viewers that they could either.”