Tuesday, December 31, 2013

CLASS ACTIONS PROTECT US ALL

MONEY IN YOUR GLOVE BOX?

If you drive a recent model Hyundai or Kia, you might be getting some money back as result of a $400 million class action settlement that is pending. 

The consolidated Hyundai/Kia Mileage Class Action Lawsuit case is “In Re: Hyundai and Kia Fuel Economy Litigation,” MDL 2424.

Both Kia and Hyundai admitted some of the fuel economy numbers on their stickers were inaccurate. Not surprisingly, they were higher on the sticker than in the real world. 

Each Kia owner in the class action settlement may get about $667, while Hyundai owners are expected to get an average of about $353. There had been some debit cards issued by the attempting to reimburse for the difference in mileage. There is also an incentive to buy another car. 

The Kia vehicles include the Rio, Sportage, Sorento, Soul and Optima hybrid.

The Hyundai vehicles included in the class action settlement are the Azera, Accent, Elantra, Veloster, Veloster Turbo, Sonata Hybrid, Genesis, Tucson and Santa Fe Sport.

In the case of the 2013 Kia Soul its sticker is now lowered a whopping 6 mpg from the fictional 34 mpg down to the actual 28 mpg. The Hyundai Santa Fe plunged from 33 mpg to an actual 29 mpg.

Making some assumptions, let’s say 6 mpg per a tank of 15 gallons equals 90 mpg that does not exist but was supposed to. Per fill up, that’s 3.2 gallons at 3.50 a gallon or $11.25 per tank extra that would not have been burnt.  That’s $585 a year with merely a once-a-week fill up.

That’s a lot of money to a working mom, but not enough to hire a lawyer and tackle a large Korean car manufacturer. That’s what class actions do.  They pool losses like that and spread the costs and risks over the class. The money each receives may not be much, but it stops the system form encouraging this behavior.  It helps everyone.

Other class actions currently pending include items as wide and varied as DePuy hip implants, Trex decking, Ebay charges and Alexia potato products.

Class actions keep us all safer and help keep companies treating us fairly.