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Kia and Hyundai vehicles are typically known for being high-quality options for families. However, a recent string of car thefts has hurt the automakers’ image. Those thefts started on TikTok as a challenge and quickly became not only viral but a problem in real life for Kia and Hyundai owners. Now, Kia and Hyundai owners are looking to sue the two automakers. Over 3,600 customers have expressed interest in joining a class action lawsuit. 

The origins behind this class action lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai

A judges gavel like one that could be used during the lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai.
Hand And Gavel | Education Images via Getty Images

This class action lawsuit is mainly in response to a group of car thefts that happened in the wake of a viral social media challenge. Earlier this year, the so-called Kia Challenge went viral on TikTok. But it also went viral in real life. In LA, thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles shot up 85% compared to last year. Things were worse in Chicago, as there was an 800% increase in car thefts compared to the previous month.

The reason Hyundai vehicles are being stolen, even though the challenge is called the Kia Challenge, is because Kia and Hyundai work closely together. Some of their cars are fairly similar to one another. According to ABC 6, one thing the two automakers have in common is the lack of an engine immobilizer in some models. 

According to the folks who proposed the class action lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai, the lack of an engine immobilizer has allowed many thieves to steal Hyundai and Kia vehicles this year. Victims of those thefts turned to a Facebook group for support. Now, it’s helping to bring more people into the class action lawsuit.

Over 3,600 Hyundai and Kia customers may want to join this lawsuit

In a later report from ABC 6, over 3,600 people have reached out about joining the class action lawsuit against Hyundai and Kia. Some people are victims of car theft, while others own a car that allegedly has a security defect. This lawsuit is for owners who live in Ohio, but it’s not the only class action lawsuit the automakers are facing.

Other groups of affected owners elsewhere in the country are also looking to file a class action lawsuit against the two automakers. The lawyers behind the Ohio class action lawsuit want judges to consolidate the other class action lawsuits into their lawsuits. So far, over 1,000 vehicles have been stolen. According to the class action lawsuit, many more cars may be defective and may allow many more people to join the lawsuit.

Here’s how to know if you can join in on this lawsuit

The class action lawsuit claims that Kia models made after 2011 can qualify for this lawsuit, while Hyundai vehicles made between 2015 to 2022 can be eligible. While many Hyundai and Kia models didn’t come with a standard immobilizer, the latest vehicles built after November 2021 should come with one. This issue only affects specific models with a standard key, not cars with push-button start.

Regardless, that should still mean hundreds of thousands of vehicles may be eligible to join this class action lawsuit. Folks thinking about joining will have to contact Payne Law LLC and The Harrington Firm, the law firms responsible for handling the case.


Kia and Hyundai Cars Stolen at Alarming Rate Using USB Cables Because of TikTok ‘Kia Challenge’