PHOENIX – Attorney General Kris Mayes this week joined a coalition of 22 other attorneys general, in calling on Kia America (Kia) and Hyundai Motor Company (Hyundai) to take swift and comprehensive action to help remedy the crisis of car thefts that has occurred as a result of the companies’ failure to equip vehicles with anti-theft immobilizers. Alarmingly high theft rates for Kia and Hyundai models continue across the country, and many of these thefts are connected to other crimes, further endangering the public.
“The failure of these companies to equip their vehicles with basic anti-theft technology is unacceptable and harmful to consumers,” said Attorney General Mayes. “I urge Hyundai and Kia to do everything in their power to protect the owners of their vehicles from theft.”
Notably, 2015-2019 Hyundai and Kia models are roughly twice as likely to be stolen as other vehicles of similar age. A primary reason for this is the lack of anti-theft immobilizers, basic anti-theft technology included in most vehicles according to data from the Highway Loss Data Institute.
As the attorneys general note in the letter, Kia and Hyundai chose not to include anti-theft immobilizers as standard equipment on several vehicle models sold in the United States during a period when every other car manufacturer was doing so, and even though the same Kia and Hyundai vehicles were equipped with immobilizers when sold in Canada and Europe.
Kia and Hyundai recently announced a campaign to provide software upgrades for some of the affected vehicle models. But the attorneys general point out in the letter that the announcement “is long overdue and still not enough.” The attorneys general urge the companies “to do everything in your power to accelerate the implementation of the software upgrade and to provide free alternative protective measures for all those owners whose cars cannot support the software upgrade.”
Attorney General Kris Mayes is joined by the attorneys general from the following jurisdictions in issuing the letter: California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, along with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.