Consumers Sue Carmakers for Exaggerating Gas Mileage

Some 1,700 Korean consumers have filed a class action suit against automakers for overstating the fuel efficiency of their cars.

A total of 1,785 owners of Korean and foreign cars like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Ssangyong Korando as well as a Volkswagen, Mini, Ford and Audi filed a suit with the Seoul Central District Court for compensations for 10 years' worth of fuel costs they spent due to the exaggerated claims.

Each plaintiff asked for W1.5 to 3 million (US$1=W1,011) in damages, some for pain and suffering on top of their financial losses.

The law firm representing the plaintiffs, Yeyul, said about 3,000 consumers have already said they want to take part in a class action lawsuit. It filed a suit representing 1,785 of them who sent in the complete sets of documents but will be recruiting more until August.

In a lawsuit over Hyundai's overstated mileage claims in December last year, the court ruled against the plaintiffs, saying that carmakers did tell consumers that mileage can vary according to road conditions and other factors, so no intent to mislead was proven.

But the government recently fined automakers for overstating fuel efficiency, putting fresh wind into the sails of consumers.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 08, 2014 11:39 KST