Last year, certain entry-level Hyundai and Kia models were being stolen at such an alarming rate that insurance companies stopped providing policies for many of them. The rash of thefts was due to a lack of immobilizers in certain models, which made them far easier to steal, prompting a wave of class-action lawsuits against the automakers. To remedy the issue, Hyundai and Kia began offering immobilizers as-standard on new models and provided software updates to existing vehicles to guard against theft. Over the weekend, Hyundai hosted an event in New York City to install anti-theft software for all owners that need it.
"Violent crime is down in New York City, but we aren’t going to take our foot off the gas when it comes to combatting car thefts," said NYC Mayor Eric Adams. "This event will provide a free and easy way for Hyundai owners to protect themselves from falling victim to auto theft, and I encourage residents to take advantage of this clinic as we continue to attack this issue from every angle."
At the event, certified service technicians installed anti-theft software in owners' cars, and the installation took less than an hour per car. These are the Hyundai vehicles that stand to benefit from the update:
- 2018-2022 Accent
- 2011-2022 Elantra
- 2013-2020 Elantra GT
- 2013-2014 Genesis Coupe
- 2018-2022 Kona
- 2020-2021 Palisade
- 2013-2022 Santa Fe
- 2013-2018 Santa Fe Sport
- 2019 Santa Fe XL
- 2011-2019 Sonata
- 2011-2022 Tucson
- 2012-2017 & 2019-2021 Veloster
- 2020-2021 Venue
Hyundai and Kia models without immobilizers proved so easy to steal that thieves had used USB cables, of all things, to do the job. With simple tools, thieves were able to take apart the steering column cover use the cable's end to turn the ignition tumbler. Those models employed traditional ignitions and keys (remember those?) and didn't come with immobilizers, which is why theft was as simple as wedging in a phone's charging cord.
A software-install event doesn't exactly sound like fun but it's certainly useful for many owners at risk of having their cars jacked. Plus, it was probably more fun than watching any New York sports.
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