An nameless reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Cities throughout the nation are suing Kia and Hyundai for failing to put in fundamental anti-theft expertise, with a subsequent huge surge of stolen vehicles burdening police departments, in response to lawsuits filed in current months. For the reason that starting of the 12 months, Seattle, Baltimore, Cleveland, New York, Chicago, St. Louis, and Columbus have all sued Kia and Hyundai, that are owned by the identical mother or father firm, for promoting vehicles with out engine immobilizers, a expertise that has served as a significant contributor to the plummeting price of stolen autos within the U.S. As the remainder of the business adopted immobilizers, Kia and Hyundai did not, with solely 26 p.c of their vehicles together with them in 2015, in comparison with 96 p.c for different producers.
With out the immobilizers, the vehicles are trivially straightforward to steal, requiring only a USB cable. A viral Youtube and Tiktok pattern instructed folks the best way to steal the vehicles. Kia and Hyundai vehicles manufactured with out the immobilizers between 2015 and 2020, particularly lower-end fashions just like the Accent, Rio, and Sportage, are particularly susceptible. A lawsuit filed by dozens of insurance coverage corporations in opposition to Kia and Hyundai allege the dearth of immobilizers violated federal laws. The surge in Kia and Hyundai thefts in cities across the nation has been staggering and it exhibits no signal of abating. In a lawsuit filed final week, the Metropolis of Chicago mentioned that in 2022, greater than 8,800 Kia and Hyundai autos had been stolen within the metropolis, which accounts for 41 p.c of all of Chicago’s automotive thefts, regardless of Kia and Hyundai making up simply seven p.c of town’s autos. In a press launch asserting the lawsuit, town mentioned it’s getting even worse in 2023, with Kias and Hyundais making up greater than half of all stolen vehicles within the metropolis this 12 months. Chicago is hardly alone. […]
In statements to Motherboard, Kia spokesperson James Bell mentioned the lawsuits filed by cities in opposition to the corporate are “with out advantage” and that the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration decided it didn’t violate any laws or security requirements. In June, NHTSA’s appearing affiliate director of enforcement Cem Hatipoglu responded to 18 state attorneys basic that requested for a recall of the vehicles by saying, “At the moment, NHTSA has not decided that this difficulty constitutes both a security defect or noncompliance requiring a recall.” A NHTSA spokesperson advised Motherboard the company has been assembly with Kia and Hyundai in regards to the difficulty however would not say if it agreed with Kia’s interpretation. Hyundai spokesperson Ira Gabriel equally mentioned that each one its autos are “absolutely compliant with federal anti-theft necessities.” Hyundai and Kia house owners can get steering wheel locks from their native police departments or by devoted web sites. Each corporations additionally provide a free software program patch that they are saying removes the specter of theft, which requires visiting a seller. Bell of Kia says the corporate has distributed greater than 190,000 wheel locks and that 650,000 autos have gotten the software program replace, out of three million complete. Each corporations now embrace immobilizers on all their new vehicles.