Monday, January 5, 2015

Improper data reporting leads to big EPA fines for Kia/Hyundai

On November 3, 2014, Hyundai and Kia were fined a record-setting $100 million dollar for violating the Clean Air Act. They were fined for cooking their data and misreporting their fuel economy, using the unethical (cherry-picking) techniques described below by representatives for the federal government:
""One was the use of, not the average data from the tests, but the best data. Two, was testing the cars at the temperature where their fuel economy is best. Three -- using the wrong tire sizes; and four, testing them with a tail wind but then not turning around in the other direction and testing them with a head wind. So I think that speaks to the kinds problems that we saw with Hyundai and Kia that resulted in the mismeasurement." Video and quote from Sam Hirsch, acting assistant attorney general. 

 Here is EPA's press release about the fine

How to use in class:
-Hyundai and Kia cherry-picked data, picking out the most flattering data but not the most representative data.
-Here, a company was felled by the simple, modest statistical mean.