They warn of a 1000% increase in thefts of Hyundai and Kia cars from 2020

Thefts of certain Hyundai and Kia models have skyrocketed more than tenfold over the past three years, causing widespread concern. This alarming increase is largely due to a series of social media posts detailing the methods used to steal these vehicles.

Hyundai and Kia car theft insurance claims rose more than 1,000% from the first half of 2020 through the same period in 2023, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), an industry group that specializes in statistics. insurance.

In the first half of 2020, approximately 1 in every 1,000 insured Hyundai and Kia vehicles was reported stolen, which is in line with other car brands overall. However, by the first half of 2023, this figure had risen sharply to 11.2 thefts per 1,000 insured Hyundai and Kia vehicles. At the same time, the level of thefts of cars of other brands remained relatively stable.

During the same period, theft reports from Hyundai and Kia outnumbered claims from other car brands by more than seven to one, according to HLDI.

The easiest models to steal

Some older models manufactured between 2015 and 2019, such as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Tucson, as well as the Kia Forte and Sportage, are particularly vulnerable. These vehicles, especially those equipped with a turnkey ignition system, are twice as likely to be stolen than other vehicles of the same age.

This is how cars are stolen

The theft method, widely circulated on social media, involves using the metal end of a USB cable to start the car. This method is one of the main reasons for the increase in thefts.

Some states, including New York, Washington and Delaware, saw a noticeable increase in theft reports of Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the first half of last year, according to HLDI. In Maryland, for example, the number of claims rose from four per 1,000 insured vehicles in the second half of 2022 to 14 in the first half of 2023.


Vandalism claims have also risen sharply, peaking at three times that of other vehicles on the market in the first half of 2023, likely as a result of botched theft attempts.

This alarming increase in thefts has led some auto insurers in some markets to refuse to cover older Hyundai and Kia models, a rare practice in the industry.

Changes in car production

Hyundai and Kia responded to the situation by entering into agreements with vehicle owners, committing to invest US$200 million to resolve vehicle safety claims. In addition to compensation for stolen or damaged vehicles, the settlement includes installation of anti-theft software and other costs associated with anti-theft measures.

Faced with this growing problem, some states have stepped up collaboration with auto companies by distributing steering locks to owners of affected models.

Despite these efforts, experts suggest that the rapid increase in thefts is due to increased awareness of the vulnerability of these vehicles and their exploitation methods. Matt Moore, senior vice president of HLDI, emphasizes the importance of owners understanding the vulnerability of their vehicles and taking steps to protect them, while noting that media coverage can also play a key role in raising awareness of ways to prevent accidents and robberies .

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