Seven States Have Filed Class Action Lawsuits Against Hyundai And Kia

Seven States Have Filed Class Action Lawsuits Against Hyundai And Kia Following Surge In Thefts Due To Popular TikTok Trend

Hyundai and Kia vehicle owners are clapping back at the manufacturers after issuing out hundreds of dollars after their cars have been stolen at alarming rates due to a popular TikTok trend. The “Kia Boyz” challenge encourages people to break into these cars and use a USB cable to start the vehicles.

In St. Louis alone, police say in July, over 300 Hyundais and Kias were stolen, and now they feel enough is enough. KSDK reports car owners in at least seven states have filed lawsuits against the companies saying their ignition systems can be compromised with USB cords. Some of the Kia models built between 2011-2021 and Hyundai built in 2015-2021 are affected.

Owners in Wisconsin filed a suit in June 2021. Recently owners in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, and Texas also filed class action lawsuits. The automakers have responded to the claims saying moving forward, immobilizing technology will be standard on all new vehicles.

Attorneys for the automakers aren’t taking the lawsuit easy and have argued the vehicles are not defective. The filing states, “Warranties do not cover situations in which a vehicle owner or lessee simply prefers an alternative material or an alternative design, as a different preference is not a defect.”

It continued, “The so-called defect at issue here — the possibility of theft — is simply not covered by either Kia or Hyundai’s express warranty. Plaintiffs pay lip service to the word ‘defect.’ Their complaint, at base, is simply that they would have preferred an alternative security system for their vehicles, given to them for free, without having to purchase it as an optional upgrade.”

While the automakers haven’t responded to the class action lawsuit, ABC 7 shared a statement from Hyundai’s spokesperson about the thefts stating, “Hyundai Motor America is concerned with the rise in local auto thefts. The safety and well-being of our customers and the community is and will remain our top priority. These vehicles meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and engine immobilizers are standard equipment on all new Hyundai vehicles.”