Kia settles fuel ratings lawsuit for about $23 M
MISSISSAUGA, ON - Kia Canada Inc. announced Jan. 27 that it has reached an agreement with current and former owners and lessees of vehicles affected by the automaker's November 2012 restatement of fuel consumption ratings.
The adjustment affected approximately 41,000 2011-13 model year Kia vehicles.
The present value of the settlement is about $23 million. The final amount will be decided by the actual number of customers who elect to participate in one of the settlement's lump-sum payment options, or instead to remain in the lifetime reimbursement program Kia Canada introduced at the time of the restatement, which reimburses based on actual fuel expenses.
“Kia Canada is pleased with the proposed agreement, which demonstrates Kia's ongoing goal of ensuring our customers are fairly compensated,” said Kay Nguyen, managing legal counsel Kia Canada Inc.
“Kia Canada is fully committed to customer satisfaction, and this proposed settlement provides flexibility for our customers by adding additional payment options to the existing reimbursement program that Kia previously introduced.”
Kia Canada said it has already established a program that provides compensation to affected owners for added fuel costs as a result of the fuel consumption ratings adjustments at the time of the original restatement - plus an extra 15 percent for any inconvenience.
Affected owners and lessees are reimbursed based on their actual kilometers driven and the fuel costs for the region in which they live.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Kia Canada and the plaintiffs agreed to add lump-sum payment options. The proposed cash lump-sum amount varies by vehicle and ownership type and accounts for previously received compensation and will be reduced by any amounts already received through
Kia Canada's existing reimbursement program. Consumers can also elect other options such as a dealership credit of 150 per cent of the lump sum cash payment amount, or a credit of 200 per cent of the cash amount towards the purchase of a new Kia vehicle.
“Today's agreement clearly articulates Kia's willingness to take care of its customers, and Kia should be commended for doing the right thing,” said Michael Peerless of Siskinds LLP, the lead plaintiff lawyer involved in the settlement.
“This settlement provides additional options for consumers by allowing them to choose from a number of lump sum payment options, which provides a real benefit to the class of consumers.”
Courts in Ontario and Quebec are expected to review the agreement for preliminary approval in early 2014. Assuming approval is granted, notices will be sent to all affected class members.