On May 18, 2023, a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit brings benefits valued at more than $200 million to owners of Hyundai and Kia vehicles rendered vulnerable to theft following the automakers’ failure to install basic security measures, according to lead class counsel at Hagens Berman, Baron & Budd, Fegan Scott and Humphrey, Farrington & McClain who the court-appointed to lead this case.
The lawsuit stems from the automakers’ failure to equip 2011-2022 models with an immobilizer, a common antitheft device in modern cars which prevents most vehicles from being started unless a code is transmitted from the vehicle’s smart key. The lack of immobilizer in affected vehicles spawned viral “Kia Challenge” TikTok videos demonstrating simple measures “Kia Boys” take to steal affected Hyundai and Kia vehicles using only a common USB charging cord or similar metal object to start the engine.
According to the lawsuit, in addition to the lack of an immobilizer, design flaws in the affected vehicles also allow thieves to steal them in less than 90 seconds. Lack of adequate security in the steering columns allows easy access to the ignition assembly, while the ignition cylinders do not have a locking mechanism and can be easily removed with minimal force.
If you purchased or leased a 2011-2022 Hyundai or Kia with a traditional “insert-and-turn” steel key ignition system, FeganScott encourages you to contact our firm today at email@example.com to learn more about your rights.
View the full press release here.