Hyundai, Kia sued in Seattle for lack of anti-theft technology

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SEOUL – United States’ Seattle City attorney has filed a lawsuit against Hyundai Motor Co and its affiliate Kia Corp for the lack of anti-theft technology in some of their models, Yonhap news agency quoted the carmakers Friday.

In the suit filed in the federal court, Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison argued the carmakers’ failures to install anti-theft technology in some vehicles led to a sharp increase in car theft in Seattle and other regions.


The city said from 2021 to 2022, thefts of Hyundai and Kia cars increased by 503 per cent and 363 per cent, respectively.

Hyundai and Kia expressed regret over the legal action in Seattle while apologising for the inconvenience to affected customers.

“In response to increasing thefts targeting our vehicles without push-button ignitions and immobilising anti-theft devices in the US, Hyundai Motor America has made engine immobilisers standard on all vehicles produced as of November 2021,” Hyundai said in a statement.

In addition, the company has taken a series of actions to deter thefts of affected vehicles, including an upcoming software update set to be available next month and provided at no cost to customers, it said.

Kia said it has been developing and testing enhanced security software for vehicles not originally equipped with an immobiliser. It has started notifying owners of certain models of the availability of this software upgrade at no cost to customers.

Kia plans to make software upgrades available for most affected vehicles by mid-2023. – Bernama