As most of you know, certain Hyundai and Kia model year automobiles are being stolen at a considerably higher rate, leading some carriers to decline coverage for the impacted vehicles.
Typically, these are models that don’t have an engine immobilizer. Combined with a social media trend that highlighted how to hotwire these vehicles with just a screwdriver and a USB cord, these vehicles are currently almost 20 times more likely to be stolen than other vehicles.
I’d like to provide more information to help you assist your clients who own these vehicles.
Is my client’s car impacted?
The most affected vehicles are Hyundai model years 2015-2021 and Kia model years 2011-2021. Typically, if the head of the ignition key is contained in a plastic housing or is a fob for remote unlock, the vehicle likely has an engine immobilizer.
Higher trim models with push-button start are also more likely to have an immobilizer and will have an indicator light. Vehicles with a simple steel key are more likely to not have an immobilizer.
Hyundai and Kia are offering free security software updates to owners of the affected models.
Hyundai owners can contact Hyundai at (800) 633-5151 for information on the free update or at https://www.hyundaiantitheft.com, where customers can enter their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to find out when it is eligible for the software upgrade.
The free upgrade will be performed by Hyundai dealers and takes less than one hour for installation. Following completion of the upgrade, each vehicle will be affixed with window decals to alert would-be thieves that the vehicle is equipped with enhanced anti-theft technology.
Kia owners with questions may contact the Kia Customer Care team (800) 333-4542 (4Kia). In addition, a special section of the Owner’s Portal at Kia.com lets owners research software upgrade availability.
Steering wheel locks can be an effective deterrent and may be obtained from some local law enforcement agencies. Firstech/Compustar security kits can also be purchased at local dealers.