Own or lease a 2015 – 2022 Hyundai or 2011 – 2022 Kia with a key ignition system? Your car may be vulnerable to being stolen due to potential security defects. You may be entitled to reimbursement. Find out your rights »

Case Status
Active
Court
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Western Division
Case Number
22-cv-01548
File Date

WHAT’S THE ISSUE?

Unlike most vehicles, the Hyundai and Kia models affected by this security defect are not equipped with an immobilizer, leaving them vulnerable to theft, and often leaving owners with repair bills in excess of $10,000. The security vulnerability allows thieves to steal vehicles by simply opening the steering column and using a common USB charging cord or similar metal object to start the engine. Videos soon went viral online showing the simple security flaw, dubbed the “Kia Challenge.” We believe consumers who purchased affected Hyundai and Kia cars deserve better, and the automakers responsible failed to adequately protect against basic theft in order to cut costs.

AFFECTED VEHICLES

Millions of Hyundai and Kia vehicles are at risk of theft due to the defect. If your vehicle is listed, fill out the form »

  • Hyundai I10 2008 – 2021
  • Hyundai I20 2009 – 2021
  • Hyundai I40 2013
  • Hyundai Veloster 2010 – 2021
  • Hyundai IX20 2016
  • Kia Ceed 2016
  • Kia Carens 2014
  • Kia Optima 2013 – 2015
  • Kia Soul 2013 – 2021
  • Kia Rio 2011 – 2017
  • Kia Picanto 2011 – 2021

ABOUT THE “KIA CHALLENGE” THEFT DEFECT

Hyundai and Kia chose to manufacture and sell the affected vehicles without an immobilizer, a device which prevents most vehicles from being started unless a code is transmitted from the vehicle’s smart key. Viral videos on TikTok and YouTube give step-by-step instructions on how to steal the affected vehicles without a key, and reports of stolen Kia and Hyundai vehicles have skyrocketed across the country. In fact, the “Kia Challenge,” widely shared on social media platforms, dares people to break in and then use a USB cord to start the cars.

By failing to install immobilizers in the affected vehicles – commonly equipped devices in modern cars – Hyundai and Kia knowingly left these affected vehicles prone to being stolen. The European Union has required immobilizers as a standard feature for all new vehicles since 1998, yet Hyundai and Kia have chosen to omit immobilizers in millions of vehicles in the U.S., despite deploying them in vehicles sold in countries with immobilizer requirements.

HYUNDAI KIA THEFTS ON THE RISE

News outlets have reported a sharp increase in vehicle thefts specifically affecting Hyundai and Kia models since 2020. Recent reports in Milwaukee, WI state that auto theft has increased more than 200% year-over-year, with Hyundai and Kia vehicles comprising two-thirds of those stolen. Viral videos of the “Kia Challenge” show teens and young adults going for joy rides and in some cases, even abandoning or crashing the cars. The incidents have turned dangerous, with suspects and bystanders being seriously injured or killed following unsafe driving and crashes related to the thefts. Because cars taken on joy rides often experience further damage, the owner’s total cost to repair their vehicle often exceed $10,000.

YOUR CONSUMER RIGHTS

We believe Hyundai and Kia chose to sell the affected vehicles without immobilizers to cut costs. By failing to ensure their vehicles had adequate theft protection and security, Hyundai and Kia have essentially rendered vehicle owners vulnerable to the simplest of crimes. Despite public outcry, rising rates of Hyundai and Kia vehicle thefts and municipalities’ requests, the automakers have failed to remedy this issue based on their own design flaw, defect and manufacturing choices. Hagens Berman believes vehicle owners deserve to be safe, and these automakers should be held accountable for putting drivers at risk for increased likelihood and rates of theft.

TOP AUTO LITIGATION FIRM

Hagens Berman is one of the most successful auto litigation law firms in the U.S. and is presently leading nationwide cases against Hyundai & Kia, Volkswagen, GM and other automakers for safety defects and emissions-cheating claims. The firm recently secured a $1.3 billion settlement for owners of Hyundai and Kia vehicles equipped with the Theta II GDI engine, which were subject to engine fire hazard and total engine failure. Hagen’s Berman has secured more than $320 billion in total settlements, $20 billion of which relates to automotive class actions. Your claim will be handled by attorneys experienced in automotive consumer law.

NO COST TO YOU

There is no out-of-pocket cost or fee to join this case. In the event Hagens Berman or any other firm obtains a settlement that provides benefits to class members, the court will determine and award reasonable fees and costs to the legal team.

 

Case Timeline

Hagens Berman purchases advertisements on search engines, social media sites and other websites. Transmission of the information contained or available through this website is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If you seek legal advice or representation by Hagens Berman, you must first enter a formal agreement. All information contained in any transmission is confidential and Hagens Berman agrees to protect information against unauthorized use, publication or disclosure. This site is regulated by the Washington Rules of Professional Conduct.