Hundreds of Kias and Hyundais have been stolen in the US in recent months, prompting some major insurance companies to drop their coverage of the vehicles, claiming they are too easy to steal.
Hyundai Santa Fe from 2015
Car thieves, with names like the “Kia Boyz,” have preyed on some Kia and Hyundai cars produced between 2011 and 2019 as part of a social media trend dubbed “keyless car thefts.”
As a result, some major insurance companies, such as Progressive and State Farm, refuse to insure these cars in selected cities where the theft occurs. rampantlike Denver and St Louis, according to CNN.
Kia Soul from 2016
“State Farm has temporarily stopped writing new cases in some states for certain model years and trim levels of Hyundai and Kia vehicles because theft losses for these vehicles have increased dramatically,” the insurer told CNN. “This is a serious problem that affects our customers and the entire auto insurance industry.”
According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, some Hyundai and Kia models built between 2015 and 2019 are almost twice as likely to be stolen as other cars of a similar age. What makes them so easy to steal? Many lack anti-theft technology, which was standard in 96% of other cars at the time.
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Blame social media
Police believe the thefts have increased after videos emerged on social media showing how to start these cars without using a key.
The criminals bypass ignition cylinders, allowing them to start the car and drive off. Robbers video themselves stealing cars in seconds.
Kia and Hyundai respond
Kia and Hyundai have since added anti-theft devices to all of their newer vehicles. For those with older models, Hyundai offers one security package that customers can install to keep thieves at bay. The kit can be purchased from Hyundai dealers and authorized installers. Hyundai is also offering a free software update starting next month that will reduce theft.
Both companies are working with the police to offer car owners free steering wheel locks. Please contact your local dealer.