— A Hyundai and Kia theft class action lawsuit alleges the vehicles can easily be stolen, something Hyundai and Kia admit but allegedly refuse to fix.
The lawsuit alleges Hyundai and Kia vehicles fail federal standards because when the keys are removed from the ignitions, neither steering nor forward motion is prevented.
The theft class action lawsuit asserts this is because Hyundai and Kia designed and built the vehicles without engine immobilizers. An immobilizer is an electronic device that makes it more difficult to start a car without a key.
The theft lawsuit includes, “all Kia models from 2011-2021, and all Hyundai models from 2011-2021.”
The Hyundai and Kia vehicles are allegedly easy to steal which makes them worth less than they should be.
With media reports across the country regarding Hyundai and Kia thefts, the lawsuit alleges a thief must simply strip the ignition column, expose a piece that pops off and then use a USB drive, knife or some other similar tool to start the vehicle without a key or code.
Reports say groups of teens have been stealing Hyundai and Kia vehicles because of a lack of immobilizers. In addition, the class action asserts the windows are not connected to the security systems which allows thieves to break the windows without the alarms being triggered.
Hyundai and Kia allegedly knew the vehicles were defective but refused to disclose the defects to consumers. The automakers had the means to add engine immobilizers but chose to put owners at risk.
According to the Hyundai and Kia theft lawsuit, Kia sought to add an immobilizer to its Amanti line in 2009, and Hyundai sought to add an immobilizer to its Azera line in 2007.
Both automakers told federal regulators the devices were similar to other devices which reduced theft by 58 to 80 percent.
The class action lawsuit says Hyundai and Kia should refund the purchase prices of the vehicles and compensate customers for other losses.
The Hyundai and Kia theft lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa: Ann Brady, et al., v. Kia America, Inc., et al.
The plaintiffs are represented by Smith & McElwain, and Humphrey, Farrington & McClain, P.C.