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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

U.S. Fines Automakers Hyundai and Kia for Misstating Mileage

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WASHINGTON — In the largest-ever penalty for a violation of the Clean Air Act, the Korean automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors will pay the federal government a combined $300 million as part of a settlement for overstating vehicle fuel-economy standards on 1.2 million cars, Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency officials said on Monday.
The action, announced by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Gina McCarthy, the E.P.A. administrator, is part of a broader, more aggressive enforcement effort by federal regulators on the auto industry. Analysts said it was meant to send a clear message to automakers that they would be harshly treated for compromising federal rules.
“This type of conduct quite simply will not be tolerated,” Mr. Holder said at a joint news conference at the Justice Department with Ms. McCarthy. The Justice Department, he added, “will never rest or waver in our determination to take action against any company that engages in such activities.”
The settlement also signaled that the Obama administration intended to aggressively enforce new climate-change regulations. “Businesses that play by the rules shouldn’t have to compete with those breaking the law,” Ms. McCarthy said.
Under the agreement, the automakers will pay $100 million in fines and forfeit an estimated $200 million in greenhouse-gas emissions credits, which auto companies earn by building vehicles with lower emissions than are...
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