Class action lawsuit alleges Hyundai and Kia thefts occur because of missing engine immobilizers.

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Hyundai and Kia Thefts Send Owners to Court
Class action lawsuit alleges Hyundai and Kia thefts occur because of missing engine immobilizers.

— Hyundai and Kia thefts are the focus of a class action lawsuit that alleges all 2011-2021 Hyundai and Kia models can easily be stolen because the vehicles are not equipped with engine immobilizers.

The lawsuit asserts Hyundai and Kia never informed customers about how easy it is to steal the vehicles.

The nationwide class action further alleges customers weren't told the vehicles were unsafe, and consumers didn't know the vehicles are worth less than they should be.

Texas customers Jon Bodie and Albert Lui filed the class action lawsuit which alleges Hyundai and Kia admit the vehicles can be stolen, but the automakers allegedly refuse to fix the problem and compensate customers.

Plaintiff Jon Bodie purchased a 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe in 2018, a 2015 Kia Soul in 2017 and a 2016 Kia Soul in 2018. And plaintiff Albert Lui purchased a 2016 Kia Sorento in 2015.

Both plaintiffs claim the Hyundai and Kia vehicles don't meet federal safety standards. Those standards say each vehicle must have a starting system which whenever the key is removed prevents the normal activation of the engine. Removing the key should also prevent either steering or forward motion of the vehicle.

According to the Hyundai and Kia theft lawsuit, the vehicles were built without engine immobilzers which are electronic security devices that make it difficult to start the vehicles without ignition keys.

With the Hyundai and Kia models, the plaintiffs allege a thief needs to strip the ignition column, pop off a piece of the vehicle and use a USB drive or some other similar tool to start the vehicle without a key or code.

In addition to the immobilizer issue, the Hyundai and Kia theft lawsuit alleges some vehicles are equipped with windows that are not connected to the security systems. A thief can allegedly break a window without triggering the alarm.

The class action lawsuit asserts Hyundai and Kia told the federal government that adding an immobilizer to a vehicle could reduce vehicle theft by up to 80%.

According to the theft lawsuit, Hyundai and Kia should refund the purchase prices of the vehicles, compensate customers for other losses, repair the vehicles and the automakers should be blocked from selling the vehicles.

The Hyundai and Kia theft lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas:  Jon Bodie, et al., v.  Kia America, Inc., et al.

The plaintiffs are represented by Baker & Patterson, L.L.P., and Humphrey, Farrington & McClain, P.C.


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