Hyundai Motor Company, Kia agree to pay 270 billion won in US ‘theft challenge’ class action lawsuit


Hyundai Motor Company and Kia have agreed to compensate victims in the amount of approximately 200 million dollars (approximately 270 billion won) in connection with a class action lawsuit against vehicle theft in the United States. The two companies faced a class action lawsuit from victims of a series of vehicle thefts in the United States last year.

On the 18th (local time), Hyundai Motor Company and Kia America issued a joint press release and said, “We have reached an agreement to resolve the issue of class action lawsuits with Hyundai and Kia vehicle owners who do not have anti- theft. devices.”

Last year, the number of car thefts targeting Hyundai Motors and Kia vehicles increased rapidly in the United States. This is because the so-called ‘Kia Challenge’, which shares the process of stealing Hyundai and Kia cars as a drama, is popular, focusing on SNS like ‘TikTok’.

In this process, Hyundai and Kia vehicles without engine displacements became the main targets. The engine immobilizer is an anti-theft device with a chip embedded in a car key handle. Damaged borrowers filed a lawsuit against Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors, claiming they sold the anti-theft device without it installed for cost-cutting purposes. A class action lawsuit against the two companies is currently underway in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Orange County, California.

Through this agreement, Hyundai Motor Company and Kia agreed to compensate the damaged owners for the loss of a vehicle due to theft and damage not covered by insurance. It also installs anti-theft software upgrades and distributes wheel locks. Car owners who cannot upgrade the software will receive a cash payment of up to $300 (about KRW 400,000) for purchasing an anti-theft device.

The amount of damage compensation under this agreement is about 200 million dollars (270 billion won). However, the amount of damages is an estimated amount by the plaintiff and may change depending on the exact amount of damages claimed by the consumers who are the subject of the class action lawsuit. An estimated 9 million units of 26 types of Hyundai and Kia vehicles sold between 2011 and 2022 are subject to compensation.

Hyundai Motor and Kia expect the US court to first approve the deal in July. After the settlement is finally approved by the US Court, individual parties participating in the class action will be notified in accordance with the terms of the settlement.

“We are very pleased to be able to provide additional assistance to consumers who have been affected by the increased thefts against our vehicles,” said Jason Erb, Chief Legal Officer of Hyundai Motor North America. “We remain committed to installing software updates, using wheels. locks, and providing insurance options through the American Automobile Association (AAA) to customers who have trouble purchasing or maintaining insurance.”


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