Kia, Hyundai customers to share a $200 million settlement

[hotlink]Hyundai Motor[/hotlink] America and Come on America class-action lawsuit resolution prompted by a surge in car thefts with a settlement agreement that could be worth $200 million, the automaker announced Friday.

The settlement covers about 9 million 2011-2022 model year Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the US today, according to the companies. Cars are not equipped with push-button ignition and immobilizing anti-theft devices – which allow them to be easily stolen by just using a screwdriver and a USB cord, making a recent nationwide auto-theft outbreak.

The settlement will provide cash compensation to customers who have suffered losses related to theft or damage not covered by insurance – as well as reimbursement for insurance deductibles, additional insurance premiums and other losses, Kia and Hyundai said.

A software upgrade will also be provided to eligible owners as part of the settlement. For customers with vehicles that cannot accommodate the software upgrade, the agreement will provide up to $300 in reimbursement for anti-theft devices.

The total amount of the settlement will depend on how many customers choose to participate.

The wave of Hyundai and Kia thefts began in 2021 and spread across the country, with a peak last summer, as a result of instructional videos posted on TikTok and other social media sites. Some police departments report continued rampant theft despite automakers opening up anti-theft software nearly three months ago.

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