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Hyundai and Kia sued for fudging gas mileage numbers

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They are getting more and more popular these days -- automakers Kia and Hyundai. That popularity is based in part of some great gas mileage. But is the mileage really that great?

It looks like mileage claims on some models were exaggerated by up to 6 miles a gallon.

A 2013 Hyundai Elantra was supposed to 40 miles per gallon on the freeway. Now it's 38.

Still pretty good, but not what the automaker claimed. It could cost them.

Monday, we learned that both Hyundai and Kia have been slapped with a class lawsuit after the EPA claimed the Korean automakers overstated their gas mileage on about 900,000 vehicles by anywhere from 1 to 6 miles per gallon.

The automakers say different methods of testing are likely to blame.

"Whether they did it intentionally I guess we will never know. But 6 miles per gallon on one make is a lot," says Matt Allen with Virginia Auto Service.

Allen explained to us the government's testing method.

"They have got a device on the tail pipe measuring the exhaust gas emissions, but they are measuring the amount of carbon coming out of the exhaust and through that finite amount of carbon and that calculation they can determine how much fuel has been consumed."

Both companies touted their big mileage numbers in commercials.

On our Facebook page we asked owners of these cars what they're been seeing and we got a lot of feedback.

"We get good gas mileage but not what we were told," said Kali Blair, who has a Hyundai Elantra.

Shannon Stuckley told us she bought a 2012 Kia Soul in March. "It's supposed to get 35 miles per gallon it's never gotten better than 26... kinda upset about the lies."

Before all this, Kia and Hyundai were thought to have some of the best mileage numbers in the industry.

"I would imagine that this a big wake up call for some other manufacturers," says Allen.

For their part, Kia and Hyundai have offered to reimburse owners in the form of a prepaid debit card.

It appears the car makers will be refunding owners for as long as that owner keeps the car.

Hyundai has said the typical driver will be reimbursed a little less than $100 a year.

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