U.S. theft claims soar for Hyundai, Kia vehicles, says non-profit group

WASHINGTON (Financial Eye) – U.S. theft claims were nearly twice as common for Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp vehicles compared with all other manufacturers among 2015 through 2019 model-year vehicles, a non-profit group said Thursday.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) said many 2015-19 model year Hyundai and Kia vehicles do not have electronic immobilizers, which prevent people from breaking in and bypassing the ignition. The feature is standard equipment on nearly all vehicles made by other manufacturers during that time-frame, IIHS said.

Hyundai and Kia both said their vehicles meet U.S. motor vehicle standards but said their vehicles were being targeted in a “coordinated effort” by social media users. Hyundai said engine immobilizers became standard on all vehicles produced after November 1, 2021 while Kia said it added immobilizers in all vehicles during the 2022 model year.