Report: Hyundai, Kia Thefts Proceed Regardless of Free Software program Repair

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2015 Hyundai Santa FeHyundai and Kia rolled out software program in February meant to cease a nationwide theft wave of older automobiles. However a brand new report says the hassle hasn’t dented the issue but.

“From Minneapolis, Cleveland, and St. Louis to New York, Seattle, Atlanta, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, police have reported substantial year-over-year will increase in Hyundai and Kia theft stories by means of April,” says The Related Press.

What’s Triggering the Drawback?

Kia and Hyundai are each underneath the umbrella of South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Firm and sometimes construct autos with shared elements.

Specific older Hyundai and Kia autos lack a typical anti-theft system known as an engine immobilizer. Costlier trims from each manufacturers are likely to have the half. However base fashions from earlier than 2021 typically don’t.

In late 2021, a collection of social media movies taught viewers tips on how to begin them with nothing however a screwdriver and a normal USB cable.

That triggered a nationwide wave of thefts. A 2022 insurance coverage business report confirmed that loss claims for 2015-2019 Hyundai and Kia fashions had been practically twice as widespread as claims for autos made by every other producer.

Some main insurance coverage firms have begun declining protection on particular fashions in some states as a result of the theft danger is excessive sufficient to throw off actuarial calculations.

How Are The Corporations Fixing It?

Each firms have begun rolling out a software program replace meant to stop most thefts.

The software program creates a workaround for the dearth of an immobilizer. When an proprietor locks the automotive with the important thing fob, it is going to solely permit the automotive to restart as soon as it’s unlocked with the important thing fob.

Within the uncommon circumstance {that a} buyer locks the automotive with the important thing fob and unlocks it with the bodily key, it won’t begin till they press the unlock button on the important thing fob. So, if you happen to personal considered one of these automobiles, you’ll wish to maintain a contemporary battery in your key fob.

The replace is free and takes lower than an hour to finish at most dealerships.

Each firms have additionally given out free steering wheel locks to homeowners, and Hyundai has labored with AAA insurers to supply insurance coverage protection for homeowners who can’t discover it elsewhere.

The Software program Replace Most likely Works. Folks Simply Aren’t Getting It.

The AP stories, “Information from seven U.S. cities gathered by The Related Press reveals that the variety of Hyundai and Kia thefts remains to be rising regardless of the businesses’ efforts to repair the glitch.”

The AP’s information doesn’t point out whether or not any automobiles have been stolen after receiving the software program replace. However automakers routinely inform us that the exhausting a part of correcting a defect isn’t the precise work of fixing it. It’s getting homeowners to convey their automobiles in for restore.

“Hyundai and Kia have mentioned they’re accelerating their distribution of the software program, with Hyundai saying it’s reached 6,000 installations a day,” the AP stories. “The corporate says it’s utilizing junk mail, telephone calls, digital promoting, and social media to attempt to attain the affected homeowners.”

Each firms have additionally requested social media platforms to take away the suspect movies.

Eighteen states have requested the federal authorities to order a recall of the automobiles.

Michael Brooks, govt director of the nonprofit Heart for Auto Security, instructed the AP {that a} formal recall would possibly attain extra individuals. “Until individuals are actually following the information,” he mentioned, “they won’t find out about theft points.”

However federal regulation mandates recollects just for security defects.

The lesson for homeowners is evident — get your software program up to date as quick as attainable. It’s free, accessible at each dealership, and will be carried out in lower than an hour.

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