Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison has filed a lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai alleging that some of their vehicles lack anti-theft technology.
“Kia and Hyundai have chosen to cut corners and cut costs at the expense of their customers and the public. As a result, our police force has had to draw on already stretched resources to deal with a dramatic increase in vehicle theft and related problems,” Davidson said. “Kia and Hyundai need to be held accountable for the public safety hazards they have created.”
The lack of anti-theft technology has led to an “exponential increase in Kia and Hyundai vehicle thefts in Seattle and elsewhere,” Davidson said in a statement. In July 2022, the Seattle Police Department reported a 620 percent increase in reported theft of Hyundai and Kia vehicles compared to last July.
Hyundai, Kia vehicles stolen Wednesday in Pierce County
“Now that people know how easy it is to steal Hyundais and Kias, the Seattle Police Department has noticed a huge increase in thefts of these models,” said Sheriff Adrian Diaz. Later recoveries within city limits suggest they were likely taken on a short period of time, often to commit other crimes…Automakers need to take this seriously and do what they can to prevent these thefts.”
The statement went on to say that Davidson believes the automaker “has not taken meaningful steps to address the issue.” “A relatively simple and inexpensive solution from Kia and Hyundai could have prevented hundreds of burglaries in Seattle this year and saved a lot of city resources,” she said.
Police say viral video shows how easy it is to steal some models using USB cables.
Davidson seeks to recover losses for New York City and force manufacturers to adopt the technology. Car thefts of Kia and Hyundai models occurred primarily in the Seattle neighborhoods of Northgate, Capitol Hill, the Midtown and Beacon Hill.