Hyundai responds to dramatic increase in car thefts and prepares new security kit

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We recently told you about more than a dozen lawsuits filed against Hyundai and Kia alleging their vehicles are too easy to steal. The spike in thefts is widely attributed to viral social media campaigns on TikTok and other platforms where users post videos under the “Kia Boyz” hashtag that expose vehicle security weaknesses. Now Hyundai has responded with concern and an action plan for vulnerable auto owners.

As we told you in our previous report, a series of state and federal lawsuits have been filed against the two Korean automakers. The Kia and Hyundai vehicles in question were primarily manufactured between 2010 and 2021 and use a traditional key and no immobilizer system. Kia and Hyundai cars built during this era with push-button start systems are not vulnerable to the same attacks.

Read more: New lawsuits claim Hyundais and Kias are too easy to steal

Carscoops contacted both companies directly and Hyundai went directly to the targeted models.

“Hyundai Motor America is concerned about the recent increase in car thefts of certain models of Hyundai vehicles,” a spokesperson told us. “While all of our vehicles meet or exceed federal motor vehicle safety standards, unfortunately our vehicles have been targeted in a coordinated effort on social media. Criminals target our vehicles without ignition interlocks. Immobilizers became standard on all vehicles produced after November 1, 2021.”

Hyundai will sell a hard-wired solution in October

The company says it continues to work with law enforcement to resolve the issue. “To assist customers with prior model year vehicles without an immobilizer, Hyundai has worked with and will continue to support local police departments to make steering wheel locks available to affected Hyundai owners,” said the spokesperson.

But the brand does not stop there. He has a plan to provide a solution that does not require the steering wheel to be locked. “Hyundai has identified a Firstech/Compustar security kit that targets the entry method thieves use to gain access to these vehicles,” he said.

If these kits resemble those featured prominently on Compustar’s website, owners could end up with more than just added security. The “Remote Start and Security” Master Kit available for Kia and Hyundai models adds remote start, OEM alarm control, power window control, and more.

“Starting October 1, 2022, this security kit will be available for purchase and installation at Hyundai dealerships and Compustar authorized installers across the country. Hyundai will provide additional details soon, and customers with questions can always contact the Hyundai Consumer Assistance Center at 800-633-5151,” the spokesperson said.

We went on to ask how much the security kit will cost, how much it will cost to install, and whether or not customers can install it themselves. We’ve also been following Kia for where it stands. Again, we’ll report back if we hear more.

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