San Diego has filed a lawsuit against Hyundai and Kia, alleging the two automakers have not provided vehicles with sufficient anti-theft technology, thus contributing to a rise in car theft in the city.
The City of San Diego has brought legal action against Hyundai and Kia, claiming the two auto makers have failed to equip their vehicles with adequate anti-theft systems, thus contributing to an alarming surge in car theft in the municipality.
The lawsuit, filed on Monday in San Diego County Superior Court, cites a “significant and troubling increase” in car theft in the city since 2011, with an estimated 18,000 vehicles stolen in 2019 alone.
The complaint accuses Hyundai and Kia of failing to “adequately equip” their vehicles with advanced anti-theft technology, such as immobilizers, which are designed to prevent the vehicle from being started without a key.
It further alleges that the automakers have failed to “warn consumers of the risks associated with the lack of such technology,” leading to a “disproportionate” impact on the city of San Diego.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the two companies, claiming they have “unjustly enriched” themselves by failing to provide sufficient anti-theft features.
In a statement, San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott said the lawsuit was “the first of its kind” and “will help ensure that automakers take the threat of car theft seriously.”
Hyundai and Kia have yet to comment on the lawsuit.