Theft of Kia and Hyundai on the Rise

Do you drive a Kia or Hyundai?  If so, you want to pay close attention to this article! 

The auto industry is dealing with a high number of thefts of 2011-2021 Kia models and 2015-2021 Hyundai models.  So much so, some insurance carriers are not insuring those vehicles at all.  Other insurance carriers are requiring anti-theft devices before insuring them.  Anti-theft devices include an installed security kit provided by the manufacturer, a secondary alarm system, or an anti-theft feature or immobilizer (steering wheel lock, steering column lock, or wheel lock). 

I’m sure you’re wondering how this became a “thing.”  According to the Associated Press, Tik Tok and other social media sites exposed a security flaw in 2015-2021 Hyundais and 2011-2021 Kias revealing how easily the vehicles could be carjacked, which caused an uptick in car thefts of these vehicles. 

Kia and Hyundai did launch a software that was designed to help prevent these thefts, but so far, it has not.  NPR reported that, “Both manufacturers are offering affected customers free software upgrades they say will fix the problem, but cars affected by the vulnerability are still on the market, despite the fact that a growing list of major insurance companies say they won’t cover them for the time being.”

In the NPR article, they interviewed a woman, Reyna Garcia, who “was interested in buying a used Kia Forte from a local dealership near her home in Aurora, Co., but she’d heard about a wave of thefts across the country involving certain Kia and Hyundai vehicles. She asked the salesperson whether the 2020 model she wanted was affected.

“His response was something like, ‘Well, this car has a push-button start, so you should be fine,'” Garcia said in an interview with NPR.

The deal went through, and Garcia and her teenage daughter began driving the car.

Only weeks later did they discover the problem: Garcia had added the Forte to her Allstate insurance policy via the company’s mobile app while she was at the dealership, but when she followed up later, she learned that the company was refusing to cover the Forte because of the high rate of thefts.

Garcia and an insurance broker tried a dozen more companies, but they all refused coverage. She said she explained her situation to the dealership and tried to sell the Forte back to them, but their offer would have left her with a $7,000 loss.”

If you are looking to buy a Kia or Hyundai, be sure to reach out to our agency  before you sign on the dotted line so we can make sure your carrier will insure the vehicle.  If you already drive a Kia or Hyundai, we highly encourage you to call the 800 numbers provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to see if the free software update provided by the manufacturers applies to your vehicle.