Hyundai To Offer Security Kit To Prevent Spiking Vehicle Thefts
After a viral social media trend spiked thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles, Hyundai has released a $170 security kit.
Hyundai has authorized an aftermarket security kit in response to widespread vehicle thefts involving a hack that has gone viral on social media, allowing anyone to steal certain models with basic tools and a USB cord. The kit is made by Compustar and it will be available for purchase on October 1.
There is a catch, however. The $170 is the cost of just the security kit. The full cost of installing the kit is still unknown. Speaking to Automotive News, Hyundai spokesperson Ira Gabriel says that the installation will take approximately 2.5 hours to complete at a dealership. All 820 in the United States are authorized to do so and are currently receiving training bulletins.
Jonathan Michaels, principal attorney for MLG, who filed a class action lawsuit against Hyundai for not installing immobilizers in the vehicles, says that installation will likely total $500 based on quotes from dealers. This tracks with dealer labor being over $100 per hour in most cities, usually more. A 2.5-hour job could easily reach $300 in labor alone.
Hyundai is also working on a software update to secure the affected vehicles. Most Hyundai models from 2016-2021 that use a physical key and ignition are under this umbrella, casting a wide net for potential victims of theft. Vehicles with a push-button start don’t have this vulnerability because of the more complex security systems onboard. Those Hyundai cars with physical keys lack an immobilizer, which is usually standard practice in new cars.
The Korean automaker has also teamed up with local law enforcement to notify owners of potential risks and distribute free steering wheel locks. Thus far, 15 class action lawsuits have been filed in 14 states regarding Hyundai and Kia vehicles without immobilizers.
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