Thieves Stole More Than 174,000 Hyundais and Kias Last Year. 3 Things to Do ASAP if You Own One

Two Hyundai and four Kia models made the list of top 10 most stolen vehicles in 2023 with a combined 174,421 stolen, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. They’ve become popular targets over the last few years after viral social media videos showed thieves how they could exploit a security flaw with these vehicles’ ignitions to steal them more easily.

Some car insurance companies have even stopped insuring models with this security flaw, due to the high risk of theft. It’s a huge headache for owners of these vehicles. But taking the following three steps can reduce your risk of loss.

Both Hyundai and Kia have released free security software updates to help eliminate the security flaw thieves have been exploiting. But drivers usually need to take their cars to a dealership to get the fix.

Look up the nearest dealership and reach out to see what you need to do to get this issue resolved, if you haven’t already. You may also want to get a steering wheel lock in the short term. This might not stop all thefts, but it could deter some looking for an easy score.

2. Review insurance coverage

Drivers of affected Hyundai and Kia models, including the Hyundai Elantra and Sonata and the Kia Optima, Soul, Forte, and Sportage, may wish to verify that they have adequate car insurance to protect them if their vehicle is stolen. Specifically, they should check to see if they have comprehensive coverage. This pays for vehicle repairs or replacement following theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and other non-collision losses.

Those who don’t have this coverage may want to purchase some, so they don’t have to pay to replace their vehicle out of pocket if it’s stolen. But finding an insurer willing to cover these models could be challenging.

Read more: check out our picks for the best car insurance companies

Top car insurance companies, like State Farm and Progressive, temporarily stopped accepting applications from drivers of affected Hyundai and Kia models when thefts were especially rampant. This may have changed since the vehicle manufacturers released fixes for the issue.

To find out which company offers the most affordable car insurance coverage, it’s best to get quotes from three to five companies. Drivers who aren’t sure whether their vehicle make and model is insurable can either try obtaining a quote online or contacting the company by phone.

3. Make the vehicle a more difficult target

In addition to the steps above, drivers of the affected models should take steps to make their vehicles less appealing targets for thieves. This includes:

  • Locking the vehicle when leaving it unattended
  • Parking it in a garage or off the street whenever possible
  • Installing an anti-theft device on the vehicle

Some drivers may also want to put some sort of tracking device in their car, like an Apple AirTag, so they can track it if it is stolen. Hyundai and Kia owners who are especially worried may want to shop around for a new vehicle altogether, but this shouldn’t be necessary for most people.

There’s never a way to guarantee your vehicle won’t get stolen, but taking the above steps should reduce this risk pretty significantly. Just don’t put them off.

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