Kia and Hyundai cars across America are stolen in seconds

It can take less than a minute for some Hyundai and Kia models to be stolen, and it happens all over the country.

why does it matter: The common problem is attributed to design flaws in the cars, which now means owners are forced to resort to an old-fashioned steering wheel lock if they want to keep their cars safe.

  • Hyundai tells customers that if they want a specialized security kit to protect their vehicle, they will have to pay for it.
  • Hyundai said in a statement that the equipment, a “start-up interrupt and siren” that “targets the method of entry used by thieves,” will be available from October 1 to Hyundai vehicles at an undisclosed cost.
  • Kia says it is not offering a security toolkit at this time.

How it works: Thieves break a window and remove part of the steering column cover, exposing the ignition. They break the ignition cylinder and start the car with a flat head screwdriver or a USB socket.

  • They’re the “perfect size to put them in the opening,” Sam Hussain, president of Metrotech Automotive Group Automotive Repair in Dearborn, Michigan, told Axios.
  • This method works on 2011-2021 Kias and 2016-2021 Hyundais that use a steel key, not the fob and power button. They target cars that lack engine mounts — devices that don’t allow a vehicle to start without the correct smart key, according to the automakers.
  • Hussain estimates the damage could range from $2,000 to $3,000. He says it may take some time to get the car back, as some parts are on delayed order due to increased demand.
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The plot: Officials link some thefts to a clear trend in the spread of the virus Youtube video In Milwaukee they are interviewing members of the so-called “Kia Boys”. They show how they steal cars at this alleged speed.

playing condition: Some regions say Kias and Hyundais are disappearing in greater numbers this summer, including the Midwest, where a Kia Axios spokesperson told the problem was the most prominent.

  • Detroit had 111 Kias stolen in July and 22 in the first nine days of August, according to the police department. That’s up from 23 in June and 11 or less in all previous months of 2022.
  • Charlotte, NC, police have reported 156 thefts from Kia and Hyundai since June 20, up 346% from 35 accidents in the same time frame last year.
  • per NICB 2021 Hot Wheels ReportSeven of the 10 most stolen cars in Wisconsin were Toyotas or Hyundais. But none of these compounds made the state’s top ten in Report 2020.

while, Automakers get File a lawsuit against her across the countryincluding a two-person class action suit in Iowa, a class action suit in Wisconsin And two class action suits centered Ohio Victims of theft, according to court records and law firms.

  • Car owners claim they fail to detect design flaws that make it easy to steal cars. Now, despite acknowledging the problem, companies still “refuse to fix it” or “compensate consumers,” as the Iowa lawsuit states.

  • “Show [a security kit] Then tasking them to install it is unacceptable,” Jeffrey Goldenberg, an attorney in a five-plaintiff suit brought by most Ohioans earlier this month, told Axios.
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what are they saying: Hyundai Motor Company, the parent company of both the Hyundai and Kia brands, understands that its vehicles have been “targeted in a coordinated social media effort,” according to a statement provided to Axios.

  • Hyundai added that all of its vehicles “meet or exceed federal vehicle safety standards.” The cars that are now produced all have immobilizers that make them more difficult to steal.

not worth anything The influence of “Kia Boys” is far from ubiquitous. Officials in Houston, Austin, Salt Lake City and Richmond, Virginia, told Axios reporters that they don’t see this trend.

Zoom: Richard Eldredge reported a 2019 Kia Soul stolen from the parking lot of his downtown Atlanta apartment building on July 7, he told Axios. The car was discovered the next day, damaged. Now he’s waiting for spare parts because of the supply chain impasse.

  • “Who would have thought that a father’s ride like the Kia Soul would be targeted by teens?” Journalist and Senior Editor in Atlanta VOX ATL He said.
  • “that it [because it’s] The trend of social media is easy to do. Lamborghinis cars are a little harder to steal.”

This story was edited by Everett Cook of Axios Local, and Kim Pojorquez, Joe Gillin, Jay Jordan, Joan Mueller, Carrie Pyfer, Asher Price, Katie Peralta Soloff, and Thomas Wheatley contributed.

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