What Happened?

In 2021, a series of videos went viral on TikTok under the hashtag #KiaBoyz. The videos were basically a “how-to guide” from young thieves in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who taught a new generation of criminals how to steal a Kia or Hyundai using nothing but a USB cord.

Shocking Hyundai Thefts Caught on Camera

Police Departments Report 1,000% Surge in Car Thefts

Now, police departments across America are dealing with a 1,000% surge in thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles, often by juveniles who film themselves joyriding at dangerous speeds and post the videos online.

These joyrides sometimes end in tragedy — at least one person died when they were hit by a stolen Kia. There have been countless accidents and damage caused by reckless drivers.

The hard-working owners of these stolen vehicles have been forced to pay insurance deductibles, repair costs, and many of them have been unable to get to work or take their children to school.

What is Hyundai Doing to Help?

Hyundai (the parent company of Kia) has responded by offering a security kit that owners can pay to install starting October 1, 2022.

Despite criticism, Hyundai has not issued a recall or offered to install free engine immobilizers, which are simple devices that make it virtually impossible to start a vehicle without using an authorized key.

Instead, Hyundai simply started adding the engine immobilizers on all new cars with model-years 2022 and above. This was required by federal law starting in November 2021.

Lawsuits are demanding that Hyundai do more to help owners. These lawsuits accuse Hyundai of selling vehicles that are “easy to steal,” “unsafe,” “worth less than they should be,” and causing a safety crisis.

How Easy Is It To Steal a Hyundai?

The #KiaBoyz videos show how easy it is to steal a Hyundai or Kia within seconds if the vehicle uses a mechanical key (not a key fob or “push-to-start” button).

The thief simply looks in the window. If the ignition uses a mechanical key, the thief breaks into the car, rips off a thin piece of plastic on the steering column, rips off another flimsy part on the ignition, jams a USB phone charger into the hole to start the engine, and drives off.

List of Hyundai Cars

  • Hyundai Accent
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Hyundai Ioniq
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Hyundai Kona
  • Hyundai Palisade
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Hyundai Venue
  • Hyundai Santa Cruz
  • Hyundai Veloster
  • And more

Hyundai Theft Class Action Lawsuit

In September 2022, Hyundai was hit by a class action lawsuit in Minnesota that was filed by LaShaun J., a man who had his 2019 Kia Sportage stolen from his driveway.

When the vehicle was discovered, the driver-side window was broken, the door and hood were damaged, and the ignition was broken apart. Police said the thief used a flat-head screwdriver to start the car.

The Hyundai Theft Class Action Lawsuit was filed on September 2, 2022 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota — Case Number 0:22-cv-02164-ECT.

What Can I Do?

If you own a Kia or Hyundai from the 2010-2021 model-years and it uses a mechanical key, your vehicle is an attractive target for thieves.

The easiest anti-theft system is a steering wheel locking device like “The Club.” Hyundai has offered free anti-theft steering wheel locks through some police departments, but they have quickly run out as owners rushed to protect their vehicles.

Starting October 1, 2022, you can pay Hyundai to install a security kit. You can also pay a professional to install an aftermarket anti-theft system, GPS tracking device, battery kill switch, or an alarm system.

Hyundai Hit With Lawsuits After Surge in Car Thefts

Hyundai is being sued by people who were angry to learn that their car was so easy to steal. These people are seeking compensation for over-payment on vehicles that are attractive to thieves, and loss of resale value.

If your Hyundai was stolen, you may be eligible to file an individual lawsuit. Even if your car has NOT been stolen, you may qualify to join a class action. Many lawsuits have already been filed nationwide.

These lawsuits are seeking compensation for:

  • Insurance deductibles related to car thefts
  • Time and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Repairs to damaged vehicles
  • Anti-theft systems
  • Over-payment for cars that are easy to steal
  • Lost resale value
  • And more
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