June 13, 2024

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Kia and Hyundai Agree to $200 Million Settlement Over Car Thefts: NPR

Kia and Hyundai Agree to $200 Million Settlement Over Car Thefts: NPR

A Hyundai sedan sits in the East Bay Tow Inc. parking lot. Last month, Attorney General Rob Ponta held a press conference in Berkeley, Calif., about the increase in thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles. Korean automakers have agreed to a $200 million settlement over allegations that their cars are easy to steal.

Terry Chia/AP


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Terry Chia/AP

A Hyundai sedan sits in the East Bay Tow Inc. parking lot. Last month, Attorney General Rob Ponta held a press conference in Berkeley, Calif., about the increase in thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles. Korean automakers have agreed to a $200 million settlement over allegations that their cars are easy to steal.

Terry Chia/AP

Kia and Hyundai have agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit worth nearly $200 million over claims that many of the Korean automaker’s vehicles are vulnerable to theft, according to attorneys for the companies and the owners.

Attorneys for the owners said the settlement includes about 9 million owners of Hyundai or Kia vehicles made between 2011 and 2022 that have a conventional steel key ignition system. press release Thursday.

Compensation for owners includes up to $145 million in petty cash losses that will be distributed to people whose cars were stolen. Affected owners can be reimbursed up to $6,125 for total loss of vehicles, and up to $3,375 for damage to vehicle and personal property, as well as for insurance-related expenses.

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Car thefts of affected models, using a common social media hack, have risen in recent months. The increasing number of thefts coincided with the spread of the TikTok “challenge” showing people how to steal Kia and Hyundai cars that lack basic safety features. This trend has been linked to eight deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

cars companies He said in February They will begin rolling out software upgrades to the 8.3 million US vehicles that lack engine mounts — a feature that prevents a car from starting unless it receives an electronic signal from a key.

Since then, pressure has grown on the company to do more to reduce thefts.

Citing the uptick in theft, several cities including Seattle, St. Louis, Moscow, Columbus, Ohio and Baltimore have sued Kia and Hyundai. Last month, attorneys general in 17 states and the District of Columbia urged NHTSA to issue a mandatory recall for the vehicles involved.

As part of the agreement, anti-theft software will now be added to vehicles automatically at any dealer service appointment, and businesses he said in a press release.

“We appreciate the opportunity to provide additional support to our owners who have been impacted by the increased and ongoing criminal activity targeting our vehicles,” Jason Earp, Hyundai Motor North America Chief Legal Officer, said in a statement.