Class action lawsuit filed over Hyundai and Kia USB cord thefts

An Independence, Missouri attorney has filed a federal class action lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai in Missouri and Kansas. The suits filed on behalf of residents in both states claim the automakers intentionally didn’t install an anti-theft device in many of their late model vehicles to save money.“We frankly were surprised, a modern manufacturer, particularly one that sells so many cars, would so utterly fail to include the common safety devices that are found on other models,” Ken McClain, the attorney who filed the suits , he said.Specifically, the suits claim Kia and Hyundai didn’t install immobilizers in their vehicles, Kia in 2011-2021 models and Hyundai in 2015-2021 models.Immobilizers read a computer chip in either a key or fob to allow the engine to start.“Because of this lack of an immobilizer problem exists on both Kia’s and Hyundai’s, they’ve become the targets of criminals because they’re easy to steal,” McClain said.The suit claims many of those vehicles provide thieves with part of the equipment they can use to steal them, a USB cord. “Considering how many people charge their cell phones in their cars, the necessary instrument needed to steal a Defective Vehicle is usually readily available to any thief,” the suits claim. “It’s essentially modern-day hot wiring,” McClain said. While none of the plaintiffs in the suits, so far, have had their vehicles stolen, McClain cites a rash of Kia and Hyundai thefts throughout the country, including in St. Louis. He says all owners of the vehicle models in question could be affected.“This will have an impact on the re-sale of these cars and also the insurance rates for these cars,” McClain said.Both Kia and Hyundai issued statements admitting there’s a theft problem with their vehicles. Both statements also say 2022 models are equipped with immobilizers. “Kia America is aware of the rise in vehicle thefts of a subset of trim levels in your area. All 2022 models and trims have an immobilizer applied either at the beginning of the year or as a running change. All Kia vehicles for sale in the US meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards,” the Kia statement said. “Hyundai Motor America is concerned with the rise in local auto thefts. The safety and well-being of our customers and the community is and will remain our top priority. These vehicles meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and engine immobilizers are standard equipment on all new Hyundai vehicles,” the Hyundai statement said.The suits call on Kia and Hyundai to either fix or replace the models without the immobilizers.“Car manufacturers are reluctant to do recalls because of the cost and avoid them generally until they’re mandated by governments. These problems are fixable and should be fixed,” McClain said. In addition to the statements, Kia and Hyundai provided toll-free phone lines for customers to ask questions or express concerns. For Kia: 1 (800) 333-4542 For Hyundai: 1 (800) 633-5151

An Independence, Missouri attorney has filed a federal class action lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai in Missouri and Kansas.

The suits filed on behalf of residents in both states claim the automakers intentionally didn’t install an anti-theft device in many of their late model vehicles to save money.

“We frankly were surprised, a modern manufacturer, particularly one that sells so many cars, would so utterly fail to include the common safety devices that are found on other models,” Ken McClain, the attorney who filed the suits, said.

Specifically, the suits claim Kia and Hyundai didn’t install immobilizers in their vehicles, Kia in 2011-2021 models and Hyundai in 2015-2021 models.

Immobilizers read a computer chip in either a key or fob to allow the engine to start.

“Because of this lack of an immobilizer problem exists on both Kia’s and Hyundai’s, they’ve become the targets of criminals because they’re easy to steal,” McClain said.

The suit claims many of those vehicles provide thieves with part of the equipment they can use to steal them, a USB cord.

“Considering how many people charge their cell phones in their cars, the necessary instrument needed to steal a Defective Vehicle is usually readily available to any thief,” the suits claim.

“It’s essentially modern-day hot wiring,” McClain said.

While none of the plaintiffs in the suits, so far, have had their vehicles stolen, McClain cites a rash of Kia and Hyundai thefts throughout the country, including in St. Louis.

He says all owners of the vehicle models in question could be affected.

“This will have an impact on the re-sale of these cars and also the insurance rates for these cars,” McClain said.

Both Kia and Hyundai issued statements admitting there’s a theft problem with their vehicles.

Both statements also say 2022 models are equipped with immobilizers.

“Kia America is aware of the rise in vehicle thefts of a subset of trim levels in your area. All 2022 models and trims have an immobilizer applied either at the beginning of the year or as a running change. All Kia vehicles for sale in the US meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards,” the Kia statement said.

“Hyundai Motor America is concerned with the rise in local auto thefts. The safety and well-being of our customers and the community is and will remain our top priority. These vehicles meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and engine immobilizers are standard equipment on all new Hyundai vehicles,” the Hyundai statement said.

The suits call on Kia and Hyundai to either fix or replace the models without the immobilizers.

“Car manufacturers are reluctant to do recalls because of the cost and avoid them generally until they’re mandated by governments. These problems are fixable and should be fixed,” McClain said.

In addition to the statements, Kia and Hyundai provided toll-free phone lines for customers to ask questions or express concerns.

Kia:

Hyundai:

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