National News

VT AG cracks down on auto theft, seeks recall of Korean cars

by Scott McLallen, the Center Square

Attorneys general from 18 states, including Vermont, are asking for a federal recall of Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

The letter, sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, requests a recall of Hyundai and Kia vehicles manufactured between 2011 and 2022. The vehicles are particularly vulnerable to theft because of easily bypassed ignition switches and lack of engine immobilizers, the prosecutors say.

The coalition of prosecutors is led by California Attorney General Rob Bonta. Other states with an attorney general signing on are from Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

In March, a coalition of attorneys general urged the companies to address their vehicle safety concerns. This letter says the vehicle systems remain out of compliance with federal standards and pose an unreasonable risk to public safety, and calls on the federal government to step in.

Between 2011 and 2022, the companies chose not to include anti-theft devices that were a standard feature in almost every other new car manufactured during that time, including the same Hyundai and Kia models sold in Canada and Europe. Hyundai and Kia owners now face the unnecessary risk of having their vehicles stolen, as well as related concerns, like struggling to obtain insurance for the affected vehicles.

Videos of teenagers stealing vehicles have spread across TikTok.

These vehicles have been stolen at high rates since 2021. The thefts have frequently been accompanied by reckless driving and further criminal activity, causing at least eight fatalities nationwide.

The coalition says Kia and Hyundai have not gone far enough in their attempts to remedy their vehicles’ vulnerability to theft. While the companies have offered a software upgrade, this upgrade will not be available for many affected vehicles until June and for some 2011-22 models, the fix can’t be installed at all. Vehicle owners who can’t receive the software upgrade can reportedly receive a free steering wheel lock from Kia and Hyundai, but the letter says this places additional burdens on owners and does not address the underlying ignition system flaw that makes the vehicles so vulnerable.

Categories: National News

11 replies »

  1. Once upon a time, automobiles used an anti-theft device known as a KEY. It mechanically controlled the ignition switch as well as the steering and transmission lock. Now that cars have been “digitized” with RF fobs, thefts are rampant. Combine that fool move with woke prosecutors who wont treat the taking of someone else’s wheels seriously and a ridiculous statute in Vermont that calls the theft of an automobile “operating without owner’s consent”, we should not be surprised at the result.
    Consumer products are designed by idiots now and voters maintain criminal-loving prosecutors…not a good combination. They used to hang horse thieves.

  2. Chrysler and Dodge Chargers and Challengers are far easier targets for theft

  3. Balderdash. Auto-theft is their concern while wild bands of their activated activists smash and total vehicles in the streets every day? Wasn’t there a guy just arrested for how many auto vandalism charges? They want tracking software installed as a control mechanism for them. They want to know how much you drive and to where. Tracking your carbon foot print and assigning your social credit score is what they are really after. The obvious lie is they are concerned with public safety? They really do think we are stupid.

      • Yes. It could also be that , while we were sleeping, these actors were groomed and “selected” by the the hopelessly corrupt ballot trafficking and counting system implemented by corrupt Soros funded secretaries of state and state attorneys using their corporate tools known as Diehard-now-Dominion and ERIC. Money and power….

  4. Why is big brother needed here? People who buy cheap cars know full well that they are getting what they pay for. If they want their cars to be less likely to be stolen, they can install theft-prevention devices, can they not? Government distortions of the free market always come at a big cost to the rest of us. Enough already!

  5. A recall is not needed. Let consumers know how easy it is to have Hyundais and Kias stolen and watch their sales plummet. Allow insurance companies to jack up rates to insure these vehicles and again when the sales plummet the manufacturers will respond. Market forces should take care of this–just educate the consumer.

  6. Maybe instead the AG should investigate treasurer piechak and Putney Pete for their role in the eb5 scam

  7. My 6th grade teacher Mr. Morgenstern was a million years old, but he had spent several of those years in the middle east. He would tell his class wistfully about bazaars with tables laden with gold and jewels just out in the open. They had anti-theft devices on everything there… they were called “consequences”.
    I think we should try those.