California AG, other states seek recall over Hyundai and Kia thefts
New York City Mayor Eric Adams and other officials hold a public-safety press conference March 30 regarding Hyundai and Kia thefts in NYC and nationwide. (AP)
California’s attorney general on Thursday, along with other states, called for a federal recall of Hyundai and Kia vehicles, saying they are more vulnerable to theft because of a lack of safety features that are standard in other cars.
Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp vehicles represent a large share of stolen cars in multiple U.S. cities, according to data from police and state officials. While most cars in recent years have been installed with anti-theft immobilizers, the Korean automakers have no electronic immobilizers.
“Kia’s and Hyundai’s failure to install standard safety features on many of their vehicles have put vehicle owners and the public at risk,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta, in a statement.
U.S. theft claims were nearly twice as common for Hyundai and Kia vehicles compared with all other manufacturers among 2015 through 2019 model-year vehicles, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Highway Loss Data Institute said last year.
TikTok videos that show how to steal Kia and Hyundai cars without push-button ignitions and immobilizing anti-theft devices have spread nationwide, leading to a raft of car thefts.
“Instead of taking responsibility with appropriate corrective action, these carmakers have chosen instead to pass this risk onto consumers and our communities,” Bonta said.