Hyundai and Kia Motors have agreed to pay a record penalty for understating greenhouse gas emissions from nearly 1.2 million of their cars and trucks.
They will pay a $100 million (£62.5m) fine – the largest in the US Clean Air Act history – and forfeit 4.75 million greenhouse gas emission credits, estimated to be worth more than $200 million (£125m) and spend $50 million (£31m) on measures to prevent future violations.
Carmakers earn GHG emission credits for building vehicles with lower emissions than required by law, which can be used to offset emissions from less fuel-efficient models.
They also gave consumers inaccurate information about the “real-world” fuel economy performance of many of their vehicles, overstating the fuel economy by one to six miles per gallon, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said.
Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator added: “Businesses that play by the rules shouldn’t have to compete with those breaking the law.
“This settlement upholds the integrity of the nation’s fuel economy and greenhouse gas programmes and supports all Americans who want to save fuel costs and reduce their environmental impact.”