Expert calls out carmakers for security flaw that leads to rampant theft

@thelegitimatesentiment/TikTok MichaelVi/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Kia and Hyundai should be paying y’all’s deductibles’: Expert calls out carmakers for security flaw that leads to rampant theft—you can join the class-action lawsuit

‘I had my car broken into 3 different times.’


Braden Bjella


Over the past few years, Kia and Hyundai vehicles have garnered an unfortunate reputation. In short, many claim that the cars are exceedingly easy to steal.

A revelation that appears to have been spurred by the “Kia Boyz” trend, thieves discovered that the vehicles could be easily hijacked using a few simple tools and a USB cable.

According to Capital One, this is happening in part because the cars failed to include a common security device.

“Many modern Hyundais and Kias lack a useful anti-theft device called an immobilizer, which prevents a vehicle from starting when someone attempts to use a key or key fob that doesn’t match the car,” writes author Mark Hacking. “This means that thieves can simply break into the vehicle, remove the steering column cover, jam a makeshift key into the ignition cylinder, and start the car.”

Now, some internet users who have experienced such thefts are calling out the auto manufacturers for their inaction.

Hyundai break-ins

In a clip with over 32,000 views as of Saturday, TikTok user @thelegitimatesentiment shows herself sitting in her Hyundai, which has had its back windshield smashed and other parts of the car destroyed. According to the user, this is the second time something like this has happened to her.

“Y’all, I am sick and tired of these claims. This is sick. This is sick!” the TikToker exclaims. “Kia and Hyundai should be paying y’all’s deductibles. Like, they really should. Like, what the f***?”

The TikToker also shows that her vehicle can now be started without a key.

Commenters say that break-ins like these are now common.

“Mannnn!!! I had my car broken into 3 different times,” a user said.

“Nah I ended up traded my Kia in after it got fixed after it was broken into. TRAUMATIZED,” added another.

“I got rid of my Hyundai,” declared a third. “It got stolen once and I had to repair my window 5 times after. Then my insurance kept going up it was way too much.”

@thelegitimatesentiment Replying to @TayTay ♬ original sound – The Legitimate Sentiment

Airbag theft in cars

According to the TikToker, thieves have begun stealing airbags from vehicles as well. The reason for this, she says, is supply and demand—as more airbags get stolen, the price of replacing an airbag increases, leading to a vicious cycle in which more airbags are stolen.

“If you can f***ing take a few seconds out of your day to hit up some neighborhoods late at night, bust a window, grab the airbag, it doesn’t seem like it’s that f***ing hard…’m sure it doesn’t take that long to do, and if it’s 500 to 1,000 bucks, and you’re hitting, like, multiple cars, like, that’s a little hustle for one night,” she says.

“Let’s say you get three cars, that’s 1,500 bucks on the low end—if it’s 500, if they’re 1,000 bucks per airbag, that’s 3K in one f***ing night,” she continues.

Insurance company Admiral has claimed that cases of airbag theft are increasing; according to the company, “Insurance claims for steering wheel and airbag theft rose 68 percent between 2020 and 2021,” per Pro-Vigil.

@thelegitimatesentiment Replying to @🌻🌹Krissy Amelia🌹🌻 ♬ original sound – The Legitimate Sentiment

Class action lawsuits

Since the revelation that Kia and Hyundai vehicles are surprisingly easy to break into, multiple parties have filed class action lawsuits against the companies.

Drivers who believe they were affected by this issue—which includes owners and lessors of a variety of Hyundai and Kia vehicles regardless of whether they faced a break-in or hijacking—may be entitled to a settlement.

While “no party has been found liable for any claims alleged in the lawsuit,” Kia and Hyundai have agreed to give drivers a software upgrade and a reimbursement of varying amounts depending on their specific circumstances.

Hyundai owners/lessors can find more information here, while Kia owners/lessors can discover how they may benefit from this settlement here.

The Daily Dot reached out to Kia and Hyundai via email, and @thelegitimatesentiment via Instagram direct message.

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