Everything You Need to Know About Recent Hyundai and Kia Vehicle Thefts - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Mar 15, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About Recent Hyundai and Kia Vehicle Thefts

Learn Tips to Protect Your Hyundai or Kia from Vandalism & Theft


Your vehicle is more than just a means of getting from point A to point B; it’s also an asset that can bring you security, comfort, and possibility. Considering how important vehicles are in many people’s day-to-day lives, it’s understandable that most will do everything in their power to protect their vehicle against the risks of the road.


Unfortunately the risks of the road can include vandalism and theft, and for owners of Hyundai and Kia vehicles manufactured between 2015 and 2019, a dangerous TikTok social media challenge has added to fears by targeting these vehicles. Continue reading to learn more about the social media challenge targeting Hyundai and Kia vehicles and how you can protect your vehicle from vandalism and theft.


Why Are Hyundai and Kia Vehicles Being Targeted?


According to a Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) analysis of 2021 insurance claims, “When it comes to theft, bargain-priced vehicles manufactured by Kia and Hyundai now rival muscle cars and luxury SUVs as top targets.”


Thieves prefer to steal vehicles that are high in value, as evident in the HLDI Report on vehicle losses. But they also prefer to steal vehicles that are easily stolen, and some Hyundai and Kia vehicles manufactured between 2015 and 2019 lack electronic immobilizers that prevent thieves from breaking in and bypassing the ignition. Because of this, social media “challenges” have arisen that show these exploits and encourage people to create social media content while stealing vehicles.


How Have Hyundai and Kia Responded to Thefts?

“Hyundai Motor America is concerned about the recent rise in auto thefts of certain Hyundai model vehicles,” said the company in a statement. “While all of our vehicles meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, unfortunately, our vehicles have been targeted in a coordinated effort on social media.”

In February 2023, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shared a press release stating that Hyundai and Kia have worked to provide anti-theft solutions for the owners of affected vehicle models. According to the release, approximately 3.8 million Hyundais and 4.5 million Kias are involved in the service campaign.


In the press release, the NHTSA urges the owners of these vehicles to contact Hyundai or Kia for information on a free software update which will, “...extend the length of the alarm sound from 30 seconds to one minute and require the key to be in the ignition switch to turn the vehicle on.”

In addition to the software update, the release states that between November 2022 and February 2023 Hyundai and Kia worked to provide 26,000 steering wheel locks to 77 law enforcement agencies in 12 states.


What Steps Can I Take to Prevent Vehicle Theft?


If you own a Hyundai or Kia manufactured between 2015 and 2019, you may be concerned about the security of your vehicle and eager to learn about the steps you can take to mitigate the risk of theft or vandalism. Follow these steps to take a proactive approach in keeping your vehicle safe:


       Roll up your windows and lock your vehicle.

       Never leave your keys in your vehicle.

       Try not to leave valuables in your vehicle, and never leave valuables in plain sight.

       If you have a garage, lock your vehicle inside at night.

       If you don’t have a garage, park in well-lit areas at night. Install motion-activated lights in your driveway for a cost-effective security measure.

       Consider purchasing a steering wheel lock for added peace of mind.

       If you own a Hyundai or Kia manufactured between 2015 and 2019: Contact Hyundai (toll-free at 800-633-5151) or Kia (toll-free at 800-333-4542) for more information on your free security update.


Although it may be concerning to know that these risks to your property exist, you can rest assured that with the right coverage you can protect your hard-earned possessions against the unknown. Click below to find an agent near you to discuss your auto insurance needs!