Saturday, July 13, 2024

Hyundai Faces Lawsuit Over Alleged EV Sales Inflation Scheme

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Hyundai Motor Group, currently the world’s third-largest automaker behind Volkswagen and Toyota, is embroiled in a legal dispute with some of its US dealers over allegations of artificially inflating sales numbers.

Filed in a Chicago federal court, the lawsuit claims Hyundai collaborated with certain dealers to misuse inventory codes intended for “loaner” vehicles.

According to the plaintiffs, dealers would assign these codes temporarily to boost sales figures, only to remove them when the vehicles were actually sold.

The lawsuit alleges that participating dealers were incentivized with rewards such as discounted vehicle purchases, improved allocation, and cash bonuses from Hyundai.

These claims remain allegations, but are supported by purported evidence including a recorded phone call where a district sales manager allegedly discussed the necessity of meeting sales targets by any means necessary, particularly highlighting electric vehicles as targets for the scheme due to the appropriateness of the coding.

The Napleton Aurora Imports group, which previously won a settlement against Chrysler over similar accusations in 2019, is among the dealers involved in the current lawsuit against Hyundai.

The automaker, while acknowledging the lawsuit, has stated it is investigating the claims and does not endorse the falsification of sales data.

Hyundai has refrained from further comment at this time, leaving the matter to unfold as additional details may emerge in the coming months, potentially involving further dealer disclosures.

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