Hyundai, Kia are easy targets of vehicle thefts, study finds

Heads up if you drive a Hyundai or Kia, thieves may be after your car.

Some lower priced vehicles made by these two manufacturers have become theft targets, according to a study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute.



Matt Moore, senior vice president at the institute, says it’s because someone noticed a weakness in the cars’ security and posted it on social media.

The institute found that among 2015-to-2019 model-year vehicles, theft claims were nearly twice as common for Hyundai and Kia vehicles when compared to a group of all other manufacturers.

“Car theft spiked during the pandemic,” Moore said. “These numbers tell us that some vehicles may be targeted because they’re fast or worth a lot of money and others because they’re easy to steal.”

Some of those cars don’t have electronic immobilizers, which prevent thieves from breaking in and bypassing the ignition.

“Our earlier studies show that vehicle theft losses plunged after immobilizers were introduced,” Moore said. “Unfortunately, Hyundai and Kia have lagged behind other automakers in making them standard equipment.”

Thefts involving certain lower-priced Hyundai and Kia vehicles suddenly spiked in 2021.

“Hyundai Motor America is concerned about the recent rise in auto thefts of certain Hyundai model vehicles,” the company said in a Highway Loss Data Institute news release. “While all of our vehicles meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, unfortunately, our vehicles have been targeted in a coordinated effort on social media.”

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, PA, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP sports.

Tadiwos Abedje

Tadi Abedje is a freelance digital writer/editor for WTOP. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Northern Virginia. Journalism has been his No. 1 passion since he was a kid and he is blessed to be around people, telling their stories and sharing them with the world.

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