Kia's motion to dismiss the lawsuit argues death of Honda driver was caused by Kia Optima thief.

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Stolen Kia Optima Lawsuit Allegedly Fails in Case of Matthew Moshi Death
Kia's motion to dismiss the lawsuit argues death of Honda driver was caused by Kia Optima thief.

— A stolen Kia Optima lawsuit alleges 36-year-old Matthew Moshi was killed in November 2023 because the Optima was defective.

But in a motion to dismiss the stolen Kia lawsuit, the automaker argues the death of Matthew Moshi was caused by a 15-year-old teenage car thief.

Moshi was driving a 2009 Honda Civic when the stolen 2018 Kia Optima ran a stop sign at high speed and crashed into the Honda.

The Kia Optima had been stolen in Columbus, Ohio by a 15-year-old thief who was driving with his three teen passengers.

The wrongful death lawsuit blames Kia for not installing an engine immobilizer in the 2018 Optima, something not required by U.S. safety laws. The lawsuit also blames other defects which allowed the teenager to steal the Optima and kill Matthew Moshi.

Kia allegedly built and sold millions of vehicles prone to theft by teenage criminals who break the windows, destroy the steering columns, remove the ignition locks and start the vehicles with standard USB cables.

The Matthew Moshi lawsuit also blames an allegedly defective steering column, defective ignition lock cylinder, and an exposed ignition switch which can be started with any set of pliers or a USB connector.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated Hyundai and Kia vehicles and determined there is nothing wrong with the vehicles regarding a lack of engine immobilizers.

NHTSA also found "the safety risk arises from unsafe use of a motor vehicle by an unauthorized person after taking significant destructive actions to parts of the vehicle."

Safety regulators also said there are no safety standards that, "contemplate actions taken by criminal actors to break open or remove part of the steering column and take out the ignition lock to start a vehicle."

Motion to Dismiss Stolen Kia Optima Lawsuit

Kia contends all the claims in the stolen Optima lawsuit fail because the plaintiff cannot hold Kia liable for the reckless driving of a third-party thief.

Kia argues instead of blaming the thief who stole and crashed the Optima, the lawsuit wants to hold Kia liable for the criminal acts of a reckless thief for the death of Matthew Moshi.

According to Kia's motion to dismiss the stolen Optima lawsuit, the plaintiff does not claim there were any vehicle defects that caused the teen driver to steal the Optima, flee from the police at high speed, run a stop sign and crash into the Honda which held Matthew Moshi.

"But unbroken Ohio caselaw, including two Ohio Supreme Court decisions, holds that a car thief’s independent decision to drive dangerously supersedes any earlier steps in the causal chain and stands alone as the sole proximate cause of any resulting accident." — Kia

According to Kia, the car thief’s reckless driving is the responsibility of the thief himself and not any party that allegedly made it easier for the thief to get behind the wheel.

In its motion to dismiss, Kia references a recent nearly identical stolen Kia lawsuit filed and eventually dismissed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

In Fox v. Kia, the court ruled:

“[A]s a matter of law, the theft and subsequent reckless operation of the Kia Sportage involved in Plaintiff’s accident constitute an intervening, superseding cause that breaks the chain of causation with respect to Defendant Kia.”

Kia argues the Matthew Moshi case must be dismissed based on the same Ohio law.

The stolen Kia Optima lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Eastern Division): Estate of Matthew P. Moshi v. Kia America, Inc.

The plaintiff is represented by Scott W. Schiff  & Associates Co., LPA.


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