More thefts in Hyundai and Kia vehicles are easy to pull off because of non-electronic immobilizers: A new analysis
He wrote that in some markets the theft rates for these vehicles were more than 20 times higher than the average for other vehicles. “Given that we price our policies based on the level of risk they represent, this explosive increase in thefts in many cases makes these vehicles extremely challenging for us to insure. In order to cope with the situation, we’ve raised our rates and limited our sales of new insurance policies on some models.
Several reports say the companies have stopped offering insurance on these vehicles in cities that include Denver, Colorado and St. Louis, Missouri. CNN was not told which cities or states were involved.
The thefts are reportedly easy to pull off because many 2015-2019 Hyundai and Kia vehicles lack electronic immobilizers that prevent thieves from simply breaking in and bypassing the ignition. The feature is standard equipment on nearly all vehicles from the same period made by other manufacturers.
Specifically, these SUVs and cars don’t have electronic immobilizers, which rely on a computer chip in the car and another in the key that communicate to confirm that the key really belongs to that vehicle. Without the correct key, an isim can stop the car from moving.
Hyundai and Kia, a South Korean automaker, are hosting a security upgrade based on engine imitators and anti-theft technology
Progressive continues to insure those who already have policies with the company, he said. They are getting advice on how to protect their vehicles from theft.
The two South Korean automakers have come up with a software patch to fix the problem, the automakers and NHTSA said Tuesday. BothHyundai and Kia are based in the U.S., but they share much of their engineering, and a large part of that is owned by theHyundai Motor Group.
The companies said that engine imitators are standard on all of them. There is security software being developed for vehicles that haven’t been originally equipped with an immobilizer. Kia said it has begun notifying owners of the availability of this software, which will be provided at no charge. The update for free software will be available next month.
The software update is free of charge for approximately 3.8 millionHyundais and 4.5 millionKias. Vehicle owners are instructed to take their cars to a local dealership, where technicians will install the upgrades in less than an hour. The new vehicles will have a window decals that say they are equipped with anti-theft technology.
The so-called “Kia Challenge” on the social media platform has led to hundreds of car thefts nationwide, including at least 14 reported crashes and eight fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The thieves would post instructional videos about how to change the locks on their vehicles by using a simple tool like a USB cable.
The software upgrade modifies certain vehicle control modules on cars with ignition systems. The lock on the door with the key will give the factory alarm a chance to sound so that vehicles can’t be started when they get into theft mode. The key fob must be used to get into the vehicle.
Starting this week, owners of 2017-2020 Elantra, 2015-2019 Sonata, and 2020-2021 Venue vehicles are eligible for the update. Additional models, including Kona, Palisade, and Santa Fe vehicles, will be serviced starting June 2023. Customers can input their vehicle’s VIN number at this website to find out when they’re eligible for the upgrade. The phased approach will be rolled out later this month.