St. Louis, Missouri, joined a growing list of major American cities suing Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp. They are being sued for allegedly failing to install millions of automobiles with anti-theft equipment
A lawsuit has been filed in Missouri’s U.S. District Court to address the increased number of thefts of Hyundai and Kia automobiles using a tactic popular on TikTok. Cities such as Cleveland, San Diego, Milwaukee, Columbus, and Seattle are also suing Kia and Hyundai.
According to the IIHS Highway Loss Data Institute, whereas immobilizers were standard on 96% of U.S. automobiles by 2015. Just 26% of Hyundai and Kia vehicles from the 2015 model year were equipped with them
According to the mayor of St. Louis. “large corporations like Kia and Hyundai must be held accountable for endangering our neighborhoods and placing profit before people.”
Kias and Hyundais are stolen at a disproportionately high rate in certain US cities. Some Hyundai and Kia vehicles lack electrical immobilizers, which might deactivate the vehicle and prevent theft.
In an attempt to decrease auto theft in the United States, two Korean automakers belonging to the same conglomerate announced a month ago that they would provide software upgrades for 8.3 million cars.
Tutorials on how to circumvent the push-button ignitions and immobilizing anti-theft devices of Kia and Hyundai automobiles that have been uploaded on TikTok have gone popular.
In February, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that this was the cause of at least 14 crashes. With 8 fatalities involving Korean-made automobiles.
Hyundai introduces several “safeguard”
There are millions of autos in the United States that are easy prey for thieves, and a group of 22 state attorneys general criticized the automakers this week for not doing enough to address the problem.
The corporation deemed “without merit” local complaints in the United States against Kia for theft.
To combat vehicle theft and the role social media has played in instigating it, the company said that it was “prepared to work closely with St. Louis law enforcement officials.” It asserts that its autos comply with all relevant U.S. anti-theft regulations.
Hyundai has introduced numerous safeguards in response to “increasing and persistent thefts targeting our vehicles without push-button ignitions and immobilizing anti-theft devices in the United States.”
Attorneys general asked that automakers expedite the deployment of software upgrades and provide free backup security solutions to consumers whose cars were not compatible with the new version.
Since May 2022, more than 4,500 Kia or Hyundai cars have been reported stolen in St. Louis. 61% of stolen vehicles in St. Louis were Korean brands such as Kia and Hyundai.
Minnesota’s attorney general, Keith Ellison, has initiated a civil investigation against Kia and Hyundai. Last year, 265 accidents and 5 deaths were attributed to stolen Kias and Hyundais in Minneapolis, he revealed last month.
Every Hyundai made as of November 2021 has an engine immobilizer.
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