Hyundai Teams With AAA to Cover Otherwise Uninsurable Cars Over TikTok Thefts
State Farm and Progressive both dropped support for frequently stolen Hyundais and Kias earlier this year.
There's a good chance by now that you've seen those viral TikTok videos of the "Kia Boyz" and their stolen Korean cars. Many of these thieves are managing to steal the vehicles with just a USB cable. It almost sounds too easy to be true, but, unfortunately, it's a very real risk posed to four million Hyundai and Kia vehicles on the roads today.
It's become so much of a problem that some insurance providers are even refusing to cover Hyundai and Kia vehicles susceptible to this type of theft. Hyundai issued an apology to affected customers over the inability to insure their cars due to the thefts earlier this year, but a simple sorry can only go so far. Now, Hyundai says that it has partnered with AAA to offer an insurance option to drivers with otherwise uninsurable vehicles.
Earlier this year, both State Farm and Progressive made the decision not to insure the millions of Hyundai and Kia vehicles that use a physical ignition key and lack an anti-theft immobilizer. In fact, vehicles were being stolen so often that multiple cities even filed lawsuits against the automakers due to the sharp uptick in thefts. City officials claim that Hyundai and Kia disregarded public safety by failing to install immobilizers on their cars in the name of profiteering.
To give an idea of just how widespread the problem is, State Farm added the following vehicles to its blacklist in February:
- 2015-2021 Hyundai Accent (all body styles)
- 2015-2021 Hyundai Elantra (two-door and four-door)
- 2015-2021 Hyundai Kona
- 2015-2021 Hyundai Santa Fe
- 2015-2021 Hyundai Tucson
- 2015-2018 Hyundai Veloster
- 2015-2021 Kia Forte
- 2015-2021 Kia Optima
- 2015-2016 Kia Optima Hybrid
- 2015-2021 Kia Rio (all body styles)
- 2015-2021 Kia Sedona
- 2015-2016 Kia Sorento
- 2015-2021 Kia Soul
- 2015-2021 Kia Sportage
Hyundai's new partnership with AAA will allow the affected owners to actually insure their vehicles should their current insurer fail to issue a new policy or refuse to renew their existing ones. Owners in Alaska, Massachusetts, and Washington, however, won't be offered insurance, as AAA does not operate in those three states.
Now, Hyundai has already agreed to fix most of the affected vehicles at no cost to the owners via a software update. For those vehicles that aren't equipped with an immobilizer and are incapable of receiving the update, the automaker says that it will reimburse owners if they purchase a steering wheel lock, or "offset" the purchase of other anti-theft devices, like an alarm kit.
The automaker also says that it has expedited the availability of the software fix for affected vehicles. Nearly all of the four million affected vehicles will be eligible to have their car's software upgraded as of this week, which is around two months earlier than the automaker had originally projected. Hyundai says that customers who believe they may be impacted can check its website for eligibility.
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