Hyundai and Kia thefts up more than 1,000% since 2020

(CNN) — Certain Hyundai and Kia models have seen a 10-fold increase in thefts over the past three years, the most dramatic increase following a series of social media posts showing how to steal such vehicles.

Theft insurance claims for Hyundai and Kia rose more than 1,000% between the first half of 2020 and the first half of 2023, according to data from the Highway Loss Data Institute, an industry group that tracks insurance statistics.

In the first half of 2020, about 1.6 out of every 1,000 insured Hyundais and Kias were reported stolen. This was almost the same for all other car brands. However, the figure rose to 11.2 per 1,000 in the first half of 2023. Meanwhile, theft rates for all other car brands remained more or less the same.

During the first half of 2023, theft claims for Hyundai and Kia were also seven times higher than for cars from other manufacturers, according to HLDI.

Certain older Hyundai and Kia models manufactured between 2015 and 2019 are particularly vulnerable to thieves. Less expensive versions of vehicles like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Tucson and the Kia Forte and Sportage equipped with turnkey ignition (as opposed to cars that only require a push of a button to start) are about twice as likely to be stolen as other vehicles. same age.

According to HLDI, many of these vehicles lack some basic auto theft prevention technologies, such as electronic immobilizers, that have been included in most other vehicles for years. Electronic immobilizers rely on a computer chip in the car and another key to verify that the key is authorized and actually belongs to the vehicle.

Hyundai and Kia operate as separate companies in the United States, but Hyundai Motor Group owns a large stake in Kia, and many Hyundai and Kia models share a large portion of their engineering. Newer models are less susceptible to theft.

According to HLDI data, several states such as New York, Washington and Delaware saw sharp increases in Hyundai and Kia theft claims in the first half of last year. In Maryland, for example, theft claims increased from four per 1,000 insured vehicles in the last six months of 2022 to 14 in the first half of 2023.

The theft method, which involves using the metal tip of a USB cable to start a car, has spread on social networks, especially on TikTok.

Vandalism claims for affected Hyundais and Kias also skyrocketed, three times higher than other vehicles on the market in the first half of 2023, HLDI reported. The rise was likely a result of failed robbery attempts, he added.

Most likely, the rapid increase in theft is related to awareness of the vulnerability and the techniques used to exploit it, said Matt Moore, senior vice president at HLDI. While the theft trend initially spread on social media, traditional media stories about the trend also gave insight into how vulnerable these vehicles are. But media coverage can also let people know that there are ways to protect their vehicles.

“I think it’s important at this point to help people with these vehicles understand that they have a vulnerability and that there is a remedy,” he said.

Earlier this year, Hyundai and Kia settled for $200 million with 9 million vehicle owners, claiming the automakers didn’t do enough to make the vehicles safer. In addition to paying for stolen and damaged vehicles, the settlement also included the cost of installing anti-theft software and other theft prevention measures.

The problem has become so prevalent that some auto insurance companies in certain markets refuse to cover these older Hyundai and Kia models, which is not uncommon.

Both automakers noted steps taken to provide customers with anti-theft tools and technologies. They have also worked with local police to distribute steering locks to owners of these models.

“Kia continues to take important steps to support our customers in responding to criminals using theft methods promoted on social media to steal or attempt to steal certain vehicle models,” Kia spokesman James Bell said in an extended statement. .” The company has taken It urged customers to install the software update that the company released earlier this year.

Hyundai said it has also set up temporary service centers in several major cities to install anti-theft software in vehicles.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button