Hyundai, Kia settle US car thefts for $200 million.

Hyundai, Kia settle US car thefts for $200 million.
Image: Reuters

The owners’ and automakers’ attorneys announced on Thursday that they had settled a consumer class action lawsuit against Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp for $200 million due to widespread thefts of the Korean automakers’ vehicles.

To combat the rising number of car thefts, Korean automakers announced in February that they would provide software updates to 8.3 million vehicles in the United States that lacked anti-theft immobilizers, a technique popularized on TikTok and other social media platforms.

According to the owners’ attorneys, the settlement will compensate them for up to $145 million in out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of car thefts, which have affected up to 9 million people in the United States.

In response to questions about theft-related losses, Hyundai and Kia stated that they would compensate owners “who incurred vehicle losses or damage in addition to reimbursement for insurance deductibles, increased insurance premiums, and other theft-related losses.”

For those whose vehicles cannot support security software upgrades, Korean automakers will reimburse customers up to $300 toward the purchase of steering wheel locks and other theft deterrent or prevention devices.

According to the owners’ attorney, Steve Berman, “the settlement will provide benefits to those who have suffered out-of-pocket losses as soon as possible.”

In the United States, at least 14 crashes and 8 deaths have been linked to TikTok videos posted in January and February showing how to steal cars without push-button ignitions and immobilizing anti-theft devices.

Multiple US cities filed a lawsuit against the automakers

Owners of Hyundai or Kia vehicles built between 2011 and 2022 and equipped with a traditional “insert-and-turn” steel key ignition system are eligible to participate in the consumer settlement. Coverage begins at $3,375 for vehicle and property damage and increases to $6,125 for total loss.

Other incidental expenses, such as the cost of a rental car, taxi, or other mode of transportation if you don’t have insurance to cover them, are also factored into the settlement.

Towing costs, vehicle repairs, and fines and fees incurred as a result of a stolen vehicle are all reimbursable expenses for owners.

The cities of St. Louis, Missouri, Cleveland, Ohio, San Diego, California, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Columbus, Ohio, Baltimore, and Seattle have all filed theft-related lawsuits against the automakers.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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