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For those unaware, it’s apparently very easy to steal Hyundai and Kia vehicles. A recent internet trend resulted in an uptick in thefts of cars from these two manufacturers. That’s why Hyundai is now offering a band-aid of sorts to its customers. The automaker is willing to sell its customers a vehicle theft prevention kit, but it’ll cost you. Hyundai is willing to prevent car thefts for a price.

Why are people stealing Hyundai vehicles?

Front angle view of gray 2023 Hyundai Palisade, affordable midsize SUV alternative to Toyota Highlander costing under $36,000
2023 Hyundai Palisade | Hyundai

According to CNBC, a challenge spread around TikTok and other social media platforms show people how easy it is to steal a modern Hyundai or Kia vehicle. Specific models from 2010-2021 that use a mechanical key instead of a push-button start and hey fob are highly susceptible. The technique allows teens or anyone else who takes the time to learn how to use a USB cord to steal a car.

CNBC reported that LA officials reported an 85% increase in car thefts of Hyundai and Kia models compared to last year. The same goes for Chicago, where a Cook County Sheriff told CNBC that thefts are up 800% in the last month. As a result, many Kia and Hyundai owners are looking for ways to stop thieves from quickly taking their vehicles. Hyundai’s response and solution is to pay more money.

Hyundai wants $170 to prevent car thefts

A masked man--like the Kia boys--attempts to force entry into a parked car with a bright orange crowbar, trees visible in the background.
Car thief | Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

According to Car and Driver, Hyundai is releasing a new security kit to its customers. Unfortunately, the price is $170, but that’s just for the equipment itself. Those required to pay the dealer for installation are likely looking at somewhere in the $500 range. In short, Hyundai is not admitting that the brand is at fault for its vehicle design, so it is not doing anything about it free of charge. If you want help protecting your easily-stolen car from thieves, it’ll cost you $500.

The new anti-theft security kit is developed by Hyundai in partnership with Compustar. It includes a kill switch and an alarm and will be available at every one of the 820 dealers in the U.S. Furthermore, it’ll take roughly two and a half hours to install. In addition, the automaker is working on a software fix for the issue in the meantime. There’s no official word yet on whether that will cost money when it’s ready.

Hyundai and Kia are facing many lawsuits

It’s an issue that owners of 2010-2021 Kia and Hyundai models can’t trust their vehicles unsupervised. However, the real problem for the automakers is that they’re faced with lawsuits. C/D says 15 different suits have been filed in 14 states. As a result, customers want monetary damages and a recall of the affected models. Moreover, the recall would be for engine immobilizers, which the automaker did not install as standard equipment until November 2021.

C/D pointed out that the automaker has offered stolen vehicle services for models with Bluelink for the past decade. Using the technology, users can slow down, locate, or immobilize a stolen vehicle. Unfortunately, it does not make the car any more challenging to steal.

You can pay Hyundai to help prevent car thefts

In conclusion, there is an issue when vehicles are stolen so easily. It’s evident that with no engine immobilizer and such a massive uptick in thefts, Kia and Hyundai models are very easy to steal. As a result, we think it’s bizarre that the automaker is asking customers to pay so much for a theft prevention kit. In addition, the kit only offers a killswitch and alarm, so while retrieving your car is more manageable, preventing theft altogether isn’t. Hopefully, Hyundai will offer its software fix for free whenever it is ready.


In Some U.S. Cities, Almost Half of Car Theft Is Kia and Hyundai