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Vehicle theft occurs daily across the country. And some vehicles are more susceptible than others. Kia, for example, has been dealing with major issues and consumer complaints about Kia models being stolen. But Kia isn’t just standing idly by waiting for more cars to be stolen. This car company is doing something.

Kia recently hosted an Atlanta event for its customers and Kia vehicle owners. Here’s more about that event. And it’s a sign that automakers are taking the rise in vehicle theft more seriously than ever.

The Kia America anti-theft event

Kia is a wildly popular car brand for car-buying consumers. But it also happens to be popular among car thieves. As NPR reports, many of the more basic Kia models, ranging from 2011 to 2022, don’t come equipped with engine immobilizers. These are features that restrict the engine from starting when the vehicle’s key isn’t present. So, thieves can essentially remove Kia steering columns, start the cars, and drive away.

 AP News reported theft stats according to the Highway Loss Data Institute. Hyundai and Kia vehicles that don’t have immobilizer technology had a 2.18 theft claim rate for every 1,000 vehicles insured. That’s nearly double the theft rate across the rest of the industry, which is 1.21 vehicles reported stolen. 

The theft rate among Kia vehicles has been so high that 17 states began urging a recall. And Kia recently stepped up to answer the call. Kia reported in a press release some of its efforts to combat the thefts. Kicking off those efforts was a Kia-sponsored event in Atlanta in August, aiming to help Kia vehicle owners facilitate a software upgrade. 

What software upgrades were made available

Kia is offering anti-theft software upgrades and free steering wheel locks for Kia owners who can verify their ownership. Kia is also providing the Atlanta Police Department, among others, with arsenals of free steering wheel locks to distribute within their communities.

The Kia anti-theft software will essentially restrict the vehicle’s operation by limiting the ignition system during tampering. The upgrade has already been installed in more than 575,000 different Kia vehicles nationwide. And this software upgrade only takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Kia vehicle owners can order a free steering wheel lock HERE

Is Kia making the right move, or is it too little, too late?


Wisconsin Hyundai, Kia Thefts Are an ‘Epidemic’ Says Class-Action Lawsuit

While many are applauding Kia for the automaker’s prompt response to this plaguing theft problem, others are frustrated that it’s too little too late. Car and Driver reported on how the latest TikTok “challenge,” which cost Hyundai and Kia nearly $200 million in vehicle owner compensation, is just a repercussion. And the surge of social media pressure for continued resolutions only reinforces how frustrated Kia owners have been.

For the most part, Kia is doing a great job at making anti-theft software and devices available for its current customer base. By working with local police departments and coordinating a multi-platform campaign, Kia is making it as convenient and easy as possible for current Kia vehicle owners to protect their property.

Of course, if you’re one of the thousands of Kia owners who’ve already had your vehicle stolen, the anti-theft assistance is just too late. With so many online tutorials about how to steal cars without immobilizers, the theft rates aren’t expected to go down anytime soon. 

If you’re planning on buying a Kia, you’ll probably be completely satisfied with your purchase. Kia is renowned for its reliability and impeccable warranty coverage. But be sure the Kia you buy has an immobilizer installed, and take advantage of any free steering wheel locks that may be available.

You’ll likely love your new Kia, but it’s also going to be on the target list of would-be car thieves.