Kia, Hyundai To Pay Millions In Settlement Over Thefts

Pending court approval, Kia and Hyundai will begin paying the millions of customers affected by vehicle thefts as a result of how-to videos on TikTok. 

“Kia Boyz Challenge” videos on TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube showed how to start Kia and Hyundai vehicles with only a screwdriver and USB charging cord.

The product liability class action was over a design flaw that makes the models easier to steal. The vehicles in question lack an anti-theft device called an engine immobilizer that make them susceptible to theft and damage.

Consumers who purchased or leased certain 2011-2022 model year Hyundai and Kia vehicles not equipped with an engine immobilizer might benefit from the settlement, which is being administered by Angeion Group.

The automakers have agreed to the establishment of a common fund of at least $80 million and up to $145 million for the payment of approved claims for certain out-of-pocket, uncompensated losses incurred as a result of a theft or attempted theft. 



Additionally, a software upgrade that will prevent vehicles locked with a key or key fob from starting without the key being present is available for certain vehicles.

Software-upgrade-eligible vehicles are also eligible for reimbursement of up to $250 for lost income and/or childcare costs resulting from the implementation of the software upgrade, reimbursement up to $50 for a steering wheel lock and reimbursement for OEM-issued key fobs purchased at the direction of a dealership to implement the software upgrade.

For vehicles covered by the settlement that are not eligible for the software upgrade, reimbursement up to $300 for the purchase and installation of steering wheel lock, glass breakage alarm or similar anti-theft system is available, or up to $250 if the consumer already received a steering wheel lock from Hyundai or Kia. 

To receive a benefit under the settlement, affected owners must file a claim form as well as all required supporting documentation on a website for Hyundai owners. There is a separate site for Kia owners. 

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