Get Gephardt helps Utah Hyundai owner seeking reimbursement for overestimated fuel economy


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LAYTON — When you buy a car, one of the biggest factors you might consider is its fuel efficiency. How many miles can it go for every gallon of gas it consumes?

That certainly went into the math Thelissa Mead used in her decision to buy her brand new Hyundai Elantra in 2012. Turns out, the miles-per-gallon on the window sticker wasn't accurate.

"A year later we found out that Hyundai had overestimated the fuel savings on the car," Mead said.

She was not alone. After a class-action lawsuit and a separate probe by the Environmental Protection Agency, Hyundai admitted that "approximately one-quarter Hyundai 2011-13 model year vehicles" were advertised as being "1-2 miles per gallon" more fuel efficient than they actually were.

And Hyundai promised to pay consumers back.

"You would take your car into a Hyundai dealer, they would read the odometer ... and then 6 to 8 weeks later, you would get a gift card," Mead said of the payback process.

She said Hyundai had been living up to that agreement, and in the years since, she's claimed reimbursements a handful of times — $40 here, $100 there. But her latest claim has not come.

"We're looking, probably, at a couple hundred bucks," Mead said. "I was told they converted over to a new computer system. 'It's going to take a little bit of time.'"

A little bit of time? Well, Mead said she was told that back in 2020. Four years later, her patience has finally run out of gas.

"I just kept getting excuse after excuse and I was tired of hearing it," she said.

Getting nowhere on her own, Mead decided it was time to call the KSL Investigators.

Documents showing Thelissa Mead’s conversations with Hyundai. She says Hyundai promised to pay consumers back but her latest claim has not arrived.
Documents showing Thelissa Mead’s conversations with Hyundai. She says Hyundai promised to pay consumers back but her latest claim has not arrived. (Photo: Mark Wetzel, KSL-TV)

We reached out to Hyundai on her behalf to ask what the holdup was. A spokesperson didn't say, but wrote, "Our customers are our top priority, and we are pleased we were able to work with this customer and resolve the concern to their satisfaction."

So, after our calls to Hyundai, Mead was finally able to get that "couple hundred bucks" she had been owed.

While Hyundai agreed to pay tens of millions of dollars to car owners, it is important to note that they did not admit to "any wrongdoing or violations of any law."

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KSL InvestigatesBusinessUtahDavis County
Matt Gephardt
Matt Gephardt has worked in television news for more than 20 years, and as a reporter since 2010. He is now a consumer investigative reporter for KSL TV. You can find Matt on Twitter at @KSLmatt or email him at matt@ksl.com.

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