▶️ Hyundai, Kia vehicles being stolen at alarming rate nationwide


There are millions of Hyundais and KIAs on the road, but now the vehicles are being stolen at an alarming rate.

Juanita Blalock said her KIA was taken from right outside her Chicago home. In the county where Blalock lives, police say thefts of KIAs and Hyundais are up more than 700% since last summer.

Ruth Herrera-Guelcher had her Hyundai stolen from in front of her house in Los Angeles.

“They’re just going out there and taking what other people work for. You know, and it’s really disheartening,” Herrera-Guelcher says.

RELATED: Central Oregon family faced $18K loss, 6-month wait after Kia engine seized

Authorities say the cars have been targeted ever since a video on social media showed how to steal them. And other videos show thieves called “The KIA Boys” dangerously racing the stolen vehicles.

“This is not just a minor anomaly where you have this type of vehicle slightly more susceptible than others, no, this one’s off the chart,” says Cook County, IL Sheriff Tom Dart.

KIA says criminals are seeking vehicles that are started with a key instead of a fob and push button. In a statement, Hyundai tells CBS News “Criminals are targeting our vehicles without engine immobilizers…”

Immobilizers detect a computer chip in either a key or fob that allows the engine to start.

Authorities suggest car owners get a steering wheel lock to deter would be thieves. Both KIA and Hyundai are working with law enforcement to provide them to the public.

Hyundai will start selling a security kit in October that can be installed.


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