The most populous city in the United States has joined several other major cities in suing Hyundai and Kia for mass theft.
In a complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, New York accused the automakers in 2011-2022 they don’t install anti-theft devices called immobilizers in most of their cars, making them “unique” among automakers.
New York City officials said it “opened the door to car theft, felony, reckless driving and public damagehas been fueled by TikTok videos showing how to steal immobile cars. The city said the number of reported thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles doubled last year, followed by an “explosion of actual thefts” in the first four months of 2023. At the same time, the number of thefts of BMW, Ford, Honda, Mercedes, Nissan and Toyota vehicles decreased.
Hyundai said in its statement that in November 2021 started the controls as usual on all vehicles and has taken steps, including software updates, to reduce the risk of theft. Kia also mentioned its anti-theft efforts and cooperation with New York law enforcement to combat this type of crime. The producer also called the city’s lawsuit “baseless.”
In February this year Hyundai and Kia have announced that they will provide software updates for about 8.3 million US carswhich have no controls. Last month, the companies reached a $200 million settlement in a high-end consumer theft case. The case involved approximately 9 million American car owners and involved parties 145 million dollars to cover losses due to theft.