SEATTLE – The Metropolis of Seattle has filed a grievance in federal court docket in opposition to Kia and Hyundai for failing to put in anti-theft expertise in a few of their vehicles, which the town lawyer believes has contributed to an “exponential enhance” of these car thefts in Seattle.
“From final July to this July, we noticed a 625% enhance in Kias and Hyundais stolen within the Metropolis of Seattle,” stated Seattle Metropolis Lawyer Ann Davison.
The lawsuit accuses Kia and Hyundai of endangering the general public security of your entire Seattle group by not putting in engine immobilizers in a lot of their autos, in addition to not issuing remembers for his or her older fashions that lack this expertise.
“It is turning into a public nuisance, as a result of they know they’ve chosen to chop corners and exclude anti-theft expertise, which is common in nearly all auto producers,” Davison stated.
Citywide, motorized vehicle theft in Seattle reached a 15-year excessive in 2022 and the lawsuit states Hyundais and Kias had been among the many high ten stolen autos in Seattle.
The drastic rise in thefts impacts all of Seattle, however the lawsuit notes the Northgate, Capitol Hill, Central Space/Squire Park, and North Beacon Hill neighborhoods have been hit significantly laborious.
We reached out to each auto producers who despatched us these responses:
“Hyundai believes this lawsuit is improper and pointless. In response to growing thefts focusing on our autos with out push-button ignitions and immobilizing anti-theft units in america, Hyundai Motor America has made engine immobilizers customary on all autos produced as of November 2021 Moreover, Hyundai has taken a sequence of actions to find out thefts of affected autos, together with an upcoming software program replace scheduled to be accessible starting subsequent month and supplied for gratis to prospects.
“Hyundai can also be offering free steering wheel locks, as accessible, to pick out regulation enforcement businesses throughout the nation, together with within the Seattle space, for distribution to native residents who personal or lease affected fashions. Homeowners may deliver their autos to an area Hyundai supplier for the acquisition and set up of a personalized safety package.We apologize for the inconvenience to affected prospects.
“Hyundai is dedicated to making sure the standard and integrity of all our merchandise by steady enchancment. Hyundai high quality is among the many greatest within the business, rating third amongst all manufacturers within the 2022 US Automobile Dependability Examine (VDS) and traditionally above the business common in JD Energy’s US Preliminary High quality Examine (IQS).”
Kia issued this assertion:
“Kia stays involved that legal actors are focusing on sure Kia vehicles with a metal key and “turn-tostart” ignition methods. Whereas no automotive might be made utterly theft-proof, Kia continues to make steering wheel locks accessible to prospects by native regulation enforcement businesses, topic to accessible provide, for gratis to involved homeowners of those autos.Kia additionally continues its efforts to develop extra options for autos not initially geared up with an immobilizer, together with the event and testing of enhanced safety software program designed to limit operation of the car’s ignition system. Kia has began notifying homeowners of sure fashions of the supply of this software program improve for gratis, and Kia anticipates that it’s going to make software program upgrades accessible for many affected autos over the following few months. All 2022 fashions and trims have an immobilizer utilized both initially of the yr or as a operating change, and all Kia autos meet or former Ceed Federal Motor Automobile Security Requirements. It’s Kia America’s coverage to not touch upon pending litigation. Kia prospects with questions concerning their Kia car ought to contact the Kia Shopper Help Middle immediately at 1-800-333-4542 (Kia).”
Nonetheless, this lawsuit claims wheel locks aren’t efficient.
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“The necessary push is to get that recall, so all these autos might be fastened and put anti-theft expertise in these autos for shoppers,” says Davison.