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1,700 consumers sue automakers for overstated fuel efficiency in Korea

Updated: 2014-07-08 22:00:19 (KST)
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Consumers who bought cars with overstated gas mileage are collectively taking some of Korea's biggest automakers to court.
As of now, around 17-hundred people have joined together for the lawsuits.
The overwhelming majority are owners of Hyundai Motor's 2013 Santa Fe SUV, taking up almost 90 percent of claims.
Drivers who own Ssangyong Motor's 2013 Korando SUV and some imported cars have also joined the lawsuits.
A lawyer working on behalf of the drivers says he expects the number of plaintiffs to rise and top 3-thousand.

(Korean)
"We believe automakers have a warranty responsibility since the vehicles have a flaw in a key factor that measures performance. And the land ministry has already verified that there's a problem with the vehicles.

The plaintiffs are seeking between 650 to 3-thousand U.S. dollars each in compensation.
The damages they claim include factors like the extra money they've spent on gas and mental stress.
But with the land ministry and industry ministry divided over the correct way of calculating fuel efficiency, pundits are expecting a fierce legal battle.
The industry ministry says that the difference between the stated and actual gas mileage of the two local car brands remain within the legally allowable level of five percent, while the land ministry says they don't.
Even if the plaintiffs win, it doesn't mean all of the 110-thousand people who own the models in question will receive compensation.
Only those who filed a claim will receive a payout.
That's because Korea doesn't allow class action lawsuits except for those involving securities.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.


Reporter : emilyfwang@arirang.co.kr

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