Hyundai and Kia have the most common theft claims in the United States, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The theft claims for these two automakers are twice as high as other companies, specifically for 2015 through 2019 model year cars.
Between the specified model years, many vehicles from both Hyundai and Kia did not include electronic immobilizers. The feature prevents those who break into a car from bypassing the ignition, and it comes standard on most other vehicles made during that time frame.
The auto manufacturers say their vehicles meet US motor vehicle standards. The companies also claim they have been victims of a “coordinated effort” by social media users to target their vehicles for theft. The brands received social media attention in Wisconsin in 2021, after which the overall losses from theft increased more than 30 times the level seen in 2019.
Since then, both companies have included immobilizers as standard equipment on their vehicles. Hyundai added engine immobilizers on vehicles produced after November 1, 2021, and Kia added them for model year 2022 vehicles.
Hyundai also said it would have security kits available for dealerships after October 1, targeting the entry method thieves are using to gain vehicle access. As for Kia, the company said criminals are mostly looking at vehicles solely equipped with a steel key and “turn-to-start” ignition system. “The majority of Kia vehicles in the United States are equipped with a key fob and ‘push-button-to-start’ system, making them more difficult to steal,” the company said.
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