Hyundai Accused Of Inflating Sales: US Dealers File Lawsuit

by AutoExpert   |  9 July, 2024

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After Toyota and Volkswagen, Hyundai Motor Group is now the world's third-largest carmaker. But some of its US dealers are now complaining, saying that the company lied about some of its sales. The plaintiffs accused Hyundai of conspiring with specific dealers to inflate sales figures artificially.

Some very damning allegations have surfaced in a new lawsuit involving the case. A federal court in Chicago filed the lawsuit, which alleges Hyundai coerced dealers into misusing inventory codes intended for loaner vehicles.

Hyundai

Once the dealer was ready to sell the car, they would undo the coding. Meanwhile, it would artificially boost sales numbers, both internally and externally. Hyundai provided dealers who participated in the program with perks such as better allocation, bonus cash incentives, and overall cheaper cars.

However, several Hyundai dealers are suing the car company over these issues. It cites a recorded phone conversation as proof. A district sales manager says, "Desperate times call for desperate measures. We have to hit a number for the press and the Koreans." This manager supposedly said EVs would be ideal participants in this scheme because the code was tailor-made for them.

Hyundai

Napleton Aurora Imports is the parent company of the involved dealers. According to Reuters, it filed a lawsuit against Chrysler and successfully settled the case for allegedly conspiring to inflate sales figures for 2019. Interestingly, Chrysler faced accusations of misleading investors with inflated monthly sales figures in the same year it agreed to pay the SEC around $40 million.

How many Hyundai vehicles may have been "sold" in this manner is still unknown, but that information may become public knowledge later. At this time, Hyundai has stated that it is looking into the allegation and does not support the practice of manipulating sales figures. Beyond that, the carmaker has chosen not to address the matter. More information should be available in the coming months, and other dealers may speak out.

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