Hyundai/Kia to Resolve Class Action Suit
An agreement has been reached in the consumer class action litigation against Hyundai and Kia auto manufacturers. This comes as many Kia and Hyundai car owners had their vehicles stolen, the result of inadequate ignition security. All the cars involved did not have a push button ignition or an immobilizing anti-theft device. These standard security measures are commonplace on vehicle manufactured by other car makers and are to prevent such heists.
Following a historically low year of thefts for Hyundai and Kia autos, a “challenge” video went viral describing how to quickly break into and steal 2011-2022 year vehicles caused a giant spike in thefts. The repair demand for the recovered vehicles caused not only a unprecedented need for ignition parts which left manufacturers scrambling to fill their shelves but also had the auto makers scrambling to improve security measures. There currently is a six month backorder for Kia and some Hyundai ignition replacement parts.
The agreement, depending on how many customers elect to participate is valued around $200 million. The compensation customers will receive is for incurred theft-related vehicle losses or damage not covered by insurance, reimbursement for insurance deductibles, increased premiums and other theft related losses.
Hyundai Motor North America’s chief legal officer reassured customers their security is a top priority, and the continuing software upgrade installations and steering wheel lock distributions will help prevent thefts. They are also offering insurance options for those who have had difficulty securing and sustaining coverage.
As part of the settlement, an eligible vehicle will automatically have its software upgraded during service and maintenance appointments at the dealership. For the vehicles that cannot accept a software upgrade, the agreement will provide reimbursement of up to $300 for the purchase of anti-theft devices. Hyundai and Kia are also providing consumers with a free steering wheel locks either through local law enforcement or direct shipment.
The free anti-theft software upgrade modifies some Hyundai and Kia vehicles equipped with standard turn key to start ignition systems and will include an ignition kill feature so the vehicles cannot be started when subjected to the method of theft popularized on social media channels. All Hyundai and Kia’s with a manufacturer date of November 2021 or later come standard with an immobilizer device in the ignition system and are not able to be easily stolen like the previous years were.
Approximately 9 million Kia and Hyundai vehicles are included in the settlement. To see if your vehicle may be covered, follow the below links:
Kia: https://ksupport.kiausa.com/ConsumerAffairs/SWLD or at www.kia.com under the owner’s portal, contact us section.
Hyundai: HyundaiAntiTheft.com Most Hyundai customers have been notified, however Hyundai is paying for targeted digital media ads to drive the remaining affected customer to their website for more information.