Hyundai & Kia Say They Will Help Owners Prevent Their Cars From Being Easily Stolen
When it was reported that many insurance companies refused customers to put a Kia or Hyundai on their policy because they could be stolen with nothing more than a USB cable, the Korean automakers have decided to take action in response to these recurring crimes.
In an effort to improve the locking systems, both Hyundai and Kia announced that they would be sharing software updates and vehicle locks for the estimated 4 million vehicles in the U.S. in hopes of deterring potential thieves.
Why Are Hyundais and Kias being stolen?
Because many videos on social media showing how easily one could steal a Hyundai or Kia, many owners, police departments, and city officials have grown frustrated with this ongoing issue. Even city attorneys from Cleveland, Seattle, and St. Louis have files lawsuits against Hyundai, suing for lost police time searching for these stolen cars. “We thank the Attorneys General for the opportunity to let them know what we have done and will continue to do to combat this rise in car theft and the role social media has played in encouraging it,” Kia said in a statement.
Millions of Hyundais and Kias were not equipped with an immobilizer system, which is an electronic security device that prevents the engine from started without the correct key or transponder. This would cause potential thieves to fail at stealing the vehicle using a USB charger.
In December 2022, Hyundai distributed over 23,000 car locks to owners, which many law enforcement officers and customers believe was not a satisfactory solution to the problem at hand.