More than 20 state attorneys general in the United States, including Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raul, are urging additional steps to be taken to combat the surge in Kia and Hyundai car thefts.
In a joint letter sent to Hyundai-Kia Motors North America on the 20th (local time), they said that although Kia Motors and Hyundai Motor Company have recently announced anti-theft measures, such as software upgrades for stolen vehicles damaged, this plan was insufficient, incomplete and late.
“Consumers continue to be harmed as a result of an alarmingly high rate of vehicle theft over a long period of time,” said the Attorney General.
In addition, insurance companies such as State Farm have paid attention to the increase in the theft rate, and some states have temporarily stopped providing insurance for certain models and trims of Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
He cited a large amount of data from actual cases of damage in each region and said that the delayed response of the manufacturer leads to more damage, and ordered, “Recognize your role even now and take more rapid and comprehensive measures to solve it. ” .
“We urge Kia Motors and Hyundai Motors to expedite software upgrades to help prevent theft of consumer vehicles,” said Attorney General Raul.
According to data, the vehicles of thousands of Kia and Hyundai owners have been stolen in recent months. Kia and Hyundai Motors models produced between 2010 and 2021 are not equipped with the ‘engine immobiliser’, an anti-theft device which is standard in other new cars during the same period. An immobilizer is a device that prevents a vehicle from operating without a key or remote key.
This led to a huge increase in car thefts as a TikTok video showing how to steal these cars using a USB cord and a screwdriver went viral.
According to Attorney General Raul’s Office, more than 7,000 Kia and Hyundai vehicles were stolen in Chicago last year alone. This accounts for about 10% of all Kia vehicles registered in Chicago and 7% of all Hyundai vehicles.
According to Chicago police data, Kia and Hyundai Motors accounted for 38 percent of all auto thefts in Chicago last year.
In addition to Illinois, attorneys general from 23 states, including Wisconsin, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Dalloway, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon and Pennsylvania participated in the letter.
Meanwhile, Hyundai-Kia Motors recently released anti-theft software following the free steering wheel lock.
The released software updates the burglar alarm software logic, extends the duration of the alarm sound from 30 seconds to 1 minute, and requires the key to be inserted into the ignition switch to turn the ignition on forward