Migliaccio and Rathod LLP is currently investigating widely reported stolen Kia and Hyundai vehicles with flawed ignition security. More specifically, it seems to be related to the companies’ failure to install engine immobilizers, electronic devices that lock the cars’ ignition systems without an encrypted key, in 2016-2021 models of Kia and 2012-2021 models of Hyundai vehicles. Owners report that without engine immobilizers, thieves can bypass the cars’ ignition systems with the use of something as simple as a USB charging cable. Hyundai and Kia cars now make up the majority of vehicle thefts in America, with cities like St. Louis, Missouri seeing an increase of up to 200% in the theft of vehicles made by these manufacturers. Despite knowing about this flaw, Kia and Hyundai have not offered to install engine immobilizers in affected vehicles, noting instead that the part is now fitted as standard on all 2022 models. The lack of an engine immobilizer leaves the car particularly vulnerable to theft, with thieves posting frequently on social media about how to steal the cars and driving erratically in them around US cities. Owners of stolen vehicles usually wait weeks for local police departments to retrieve their cars, and vehicle interiors are frequently ransacked, damaged, and removed of all their valuables.
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The lawyers at Migliaccio & Rathod LLP have years of experience in class action litigation against large corporations, including in cases involving defective products. More information about our current cases and investigations is available on our blog.