A coalition of 23 state attorneys general and consumer protection agencies accused automakers Hyundai and Kia of “failing to address” the nationwide car theft. The problem, the state says, was created by the automakers themselves.
A coalition of attorneys general, including Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raul, said Monday that it has not taken sufficient steps to protect owners of certain models that are prone to stealing due to security flaws hidden inside. He accused both companies of
“Consumers continue to suffer as a result,” said a letter from the coalition to key executives at Hyundai and Kia Motors. “Worse still, theft is often associated with reckless driving and other crimes, contributing to the erosion of public safety.”
in that letterthe coalition says Hyundai and Kia have opted not to include “an anti-theft immobilizer as standard equipment” in vehicles built between 2011 and 2021, while other automakers have included the equipment in their vehicles. It is installed.
The companies announced a potential solution to the problem last month, but the state coalition believes it’s not good enough.
“The recent announcement of a customer service campaign that combines warning stickers, longer alarms and software upgrades rather than recalls is positive news, but not as much as the situation calls for,” the alliance said to Hyundai and Kia. wrote in a letter to the Executive.
“Our concerns about the adequacy of the newly announced measures are informed by your company’s slow response and lack of acceptance of responsibility for the crisis over the past few years.”
The theft of certain Hyundai and Kia models has been reported for years, but a social media video of a thief who stole a Hyundai and Kia model last May 2022 revealed a security flaw. Word spread and their numbers increased significantly.
Cities across the United States saw a wave of thefts after these viral videos were published.
After these videos went viral last summer, Chicago saw a more than 890% increase in thefts, with thousands of cars stolen, according to Chicago police records obtained by NBC 5.
Spokesmen for Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors said Monday they are committed to working with states and law enforcement agencies to ensure vehicle security.
Both automakers have blamed “irresponsible social media challenges” for the issue.
A spokesperson for Kia Motors told NBC 5:the requirements of [federal motor vehicle safety standards]”
But last month, auto safety and consumer advocates raised concerns that these affected vehicles did not meet federal safety standards and that a recall would be required by law to fix the problem. expressed.
These advocates point to specific Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). FMVSS114It requires all vehicles in the United States to be “equipped with a starting system that prevents normal operation of the vehicle’s engine or motor … whenever the key is removed.”
When asked how vehicles meet these requirements, federal regulators told NBC 5 Answers that automakers themselves are responsible for “self-certifying” their vehicles.
“Under federal law, vehicle manufacturers are responsible for self-certifying that their vehicles comply with all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards,” said a spokesperson for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). told NBC 5 Responds. “NHTSA does not recognize vehicles as compliant.”
Potential solutions are on their way to the millions of Hyundai and Kia drivers whose vehicles are vulnerable to theft, but safety advocates say the free fix is too slow and doesn’t work well enough. Lexi Sutter has a story.
Both Kia and Hyundai are adamant that their vehicles meet these standards, saying “a recall is neither appropriate nor justified under federal law.”
Kia Motors and Hyundai Motors announced a potential solution to the theft problem last month. A free software upgrade can prevent the engine of certain vehicles from starting without a key.
The customer service campaign is voluntary for drivers, and the automaker says it’s taking a “phased approach” to which vehicles will be covered in the coming months.
Kia Motors told NBC 5 on Monday that it has contacted more than 1 million affected Kia owners and lessees about the software upgrade, and plans to reach an additional 2 million drivers by the end of the month. I said yes.
The coalition of state attorneys general felt that wasn’t enough, noting that most owners won’t be able to take advantage of the upgrade until June and that the software upgrade is incompatible with some affected vehicles. I’m here.
“Your company’s decision not to install anti-theft immobilizers as standard equipment is causing continued harm to consumers and undermining public safety in communities across the country,” the coalition wrote. “It is long past the time for companies to recognize their role and take swift and comprehensive action to rectify it.”
When can drivers schedule free upgrades?
Hyundai and Kia Motors say they are “working to maximize completion rates” for affected drivers by notifying affected drivers by mail, email and phone.
For Hyundai customers with a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), Click here for online tools on this website Check when you are eligible to schedule an upgrade.
Here is a general timeline in which Hyundai drivers can schedule their free upgrades:
|1||2017-2020 Elantra 2015-2019 Sonata 2020-2021 Venue||February 14, 2023|
2018-2020 Elantra GT
2011-2014 Genesis Coupe
2013-2018 Santa Fe Sport
2013-2022 Santa Fe
2019 Santa Fe XL
2012-2017, 2019-2021 Veloster
Kia owners can use this to look up their VIN Online tool on Kia’s website linked here Find out if and when your vehicle is eligible for a free software upgrade.
Kia owners can also contact the company’s customer care team directly at 1-800-333-4542 (4Kia).