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Hyundai, Kia agree to $200 million settlement over U.S. car thefts


May 19, 2023
Hyundai, Kia agree to $200 million settlement over U.S. car thefts

The saga over easily-stolen Hyundai and Kia vehicles continues, as Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp just agreed to a consumer class-action lawsuit settlement worth over $200 million, according to lawyers for the owners and the automakers.

Thefts of certain 2011-2022 Hyundai and Kia models without factory-installed immobilizers gained popularity last year, as social media videos demonstrated how easy it was to steal these cars. This has led to a multitude of actions, from insurance companies refusing to cover those models, to Hyundai and Kia rolling out updates to make them harder to steal. It’s been a long road, and now owners of the affected vehicles will be getting a piece of this settlement pie as a result of the lawsuit.

Lawyers say the settlement covers about 9 million U.S. owners and includes up to $145 million for out-of-pocket losses for consumers who had cars stolen. Those who experienced a total loss of their vehicle could be entitled to up to $6,125, while those who experienced damage to vehicle and personal property could see $3,375. Folks could also be reimbursed for “insurance-related expenses and other related expenses including car rental, taxi costs, ride share costs or public transit payments not otherwise covered by insurance,” according to lawyers.

Additionally, Hyundai and Kia said they will compensate owners “who incurred theft-related vehicle losses or damage in addition to reimbursement for insurance deductibles, increased insurance premiums, and other theft related losses.”

We’ve previously reported about the software updates that will be rolled out to Hyundai and Kia models, but not all models are eligible. In case you own a vehicle that won’t be helped by a software update, Hyundai or Kia will provide up to $300 for the purchase of steering wheel locks and other theft deterrent or prevention devices.

TikTok videos showing how to steal cars without push-button ignitions and immobilizing anti-theft devices have led to at least 14 reported crashes and eight fatalities in the United States, regulators said in February.

Reuters reports that many major cities have sued the automakers over the thefts, including St. Louis, Cleveland, San Diego, Milwaukee, Columbus, Baltimore and Seattle.

Includes material from Reuters.

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