Hyundai, Kia vehicles' thefts in US soared last year. Here's why

  • As per an analysis, many 2015-2019 Hyundai and Kia models lack electronic immobilizers, which make them easier to steal.
File photo of Hyundai logo on a steering wheel
File photo of Hyundai logo on a steering wheel

While there are many vehicles in the US that are quite popular with the thieves such the Dodge Chargers and Challengers, in the recent time vehicles from Hyundai and Kia have been giving them tough competition, CarScoops reported. As per 2021 analysis from Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) insurance, “Among 2015-19 model year vehicles, theft claims were nearly twice as common for Hyundai and Kia vehicles, as a group, as for all other manufacturers."

The analysis highlights that many 2015-2019 Hyundai and Kia models lack electronic immobilizers, which make them easier to steal. This is because the Korean automakers were late to the party while immobilizers were standard on 96% of 2015 model year vehicles from other manufacturers, but found on just 26% of Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

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In one of the earliest-affected states, Wisconsin, the automakers' overall losses from Hyundai-Kia thefts and amount paid on theft claims per insured vehicle year soared to more than 30 times the 2019 level. Some of these vehicles may be targeted because they're fast or worth a lot of money while others are targeted because they are easy to steal, as per HLDI Senior Vice President Matt Moore.

A Hyundai spokesperson noted that the company is concerned about the recent rise in thefts, but also noted, “all of our vehicles meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Unfortunately, our vehicles have been targeted in a coordinated effort on social media".

A Kia spokesperson said, "Criminals are seeking vehicles solely equipped with a steel key and turn-to-start ignition system" and “the majority of Kia vehicles in the United States are equipped with a key fob and push-button-to-start system" that makes them harder to steal.

Additionally, Kia and Hyundai owners can That being said, there are things Hyundai and Kia owners can do to lessen the chances of becoming a victim. If possible, park in a locked garage or a well lit area. Owners can also purchase steering wheel locks, such as The Club, or aftermarket immobilizers.

First Published Date: 25 Sep 2022, 15:49 PM IST

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