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The Kia Soul

Furthermore …

Worst-case scenario

Superstorm Sandy gives the Allen County Election Board another reason to adopt vote centers.

In July, the election board decided to delay the transition from precinct-based voting to vote centers until the 2014 election because of higher-than-expected technology costs. But the Election Day challenges faced by Sandy’s victims on the East Coast should serve as an illustration for local election officials.

On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an emergency executive order allowing New Yorkers affected by Sandy to cast a provisional ballot at any polling place in the state. The order ensured that those whose normal polling locations were closed because of the aftereffects of the storm could still have their votes counted.

Using vote centers in Allen County would ensure that voters still would be able to cast their ballots at any voting location in the event a natural disaster – not an unlikely scenario in Indiana – were to force the closure of some poll sites on Election Day.

Hyundai, Kia driven to admit errors

High gas prices make a vehicle’s advertised fuel efficiency a more important factor when shopping for a car. It’s also the reason the EPA is looking at sanctions against Kia and Hyundai for overstating the fuel efficiency of most of their car models over the past three years.

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency audit found significant discrepancies between EPA test results and data turned in by Hyundai and Kia. Depending on the model, actual mileage results were from one to six mpg lower than reported.

Problems were found with 13 models from the 2011 through 2013 model years. Hyundai and Kia are owned by the same company and are built in the same factories, but the vehicles are marketed and sold separately. The Korean automaker claims the errors were unintentional, has apologized and pledged to pay owners of about 900,000 cars and SUVs for the mileage difference. Those payments could cost the Korean brands hundreds of millions of dollars.

The EPA is requiring the automaker to retrofit the window stickers on the cars, posting reduced fuel economy figures. For example, the Kia Soul, the small SUV advertised using dance-music loving gerbils, will lose 6 mpg in highway mileage on its stickers.

There is also the potential of further sanctions from the U.S. government.