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February 2023

In Illinois, Auto insurers Curtail Coverage of Kias, Hyundais As Thefts Soar

Owners of affected vehicles must pay more and wait longer for repairs.

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    According to a class action complaint filed against the manufacturers of Kia and Hyundai vehicles, the vehicles don't have sufficient anti-theft features, and customers weren't informed of the production flaw.

    The Insurance Information Institute and AM Best are stating that the social media-driven craze that encouraged would-be auto thieves to target newer-model Kias and Hyundais is now having significant insurance ramifications.

    Thanks to TikTok, auto thieves are taking advantage of a flaw in these specific vehicles that makes them relatively simple to steal with just a pin and a USB cable.

    According to Mark Friedlander of the Triple I's, "they are seriously destroying the vehicle's steering column" during such thefts. This was reported to the Chicago CBS affiliate WBBM-TV. "That is a significant repair, and regrettably we are witnessing thousands of these around the nation."

    In 2021, 328 Kias were reported stolen in Chicago, according to the TV outlet. In 2022, that number increased to about 3,600.

    A representative for Allstate added that longer maintenance delays and higher costs are hurting both insurance and car owners.

    Due to the ignition system's susceptibility, a class-action lawsuit has been filed in Iowa on the grounds that Kias and Hyundais are "'simple to steal,' hazardous, and worth less than what drivers paid."

    According to reports, the in question automobiles lack electronic engine immobilizers, which might successfully thwart a theft attempt. According to the Iowa lawsuit, the automakers should have informed customers about this manufacturing detail before to selling the problematic automobiles. The complaint also notes that the cars do not adhere to federal auto safety regulations. In addition, the lawsuit claims that because the windows on the harmed Kias and Hondas are not linked to the vehicles' security systems, a burglar can smash the glass without setting off an alarm.

    Consumers who bought a Kia or Hyundai between 2011 and 2021 are allegedly covered by the case. According to AM Best, these same car owners must pay more for insurance and have fewer coverage options.

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