Ald. Milele Coggs
Press Release

Welcome action on Kia and Hyundai by Wisconsin Attorney General

Statement of Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs and Alderman Khalif J. Rainey

By - Mar 20th, 2023 05:07 pm

We applaud the action today of Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul in leading a coalition of 23 attorneys general in calling on the leadership of Kia America (Kia) and Hyundai Motor Company (Hyundai) to take swift and comprehensive action to help remedy the crisis of car thefts that has occurred as a result of the companies’ failure to equip their vehicles with anti-theft immobilizers.

The attorneys general sent a letter today to Kia and Hyundai, noting that Kia and Hyundai chose not to include anti-theft immobilizers as standard equipment on several vehicle models sold in the U.S. during a period when every other car manufacturer was doing so, and even though the same Kia and Hyundai vehicles were equipped with immobilizers when sold in Canada and Europe.

In a news release, AG Kaul stated: “Kia and Hyundai need to step up to address the scourge of theft of vehicles they manufactured without anti-theft immobilizers. These companies must act swiftly to reduce further harm from the high rates of theft of Kias and Hyundais.”

Alarmingly high theft rates for Kia and Hyundai models continue across the country, and many of these thefts are connected to other crimes, further endangering the public.

In 2021, there were 6,970 Kia and Hyundai vehicles reported stolen in Milwaukee, up from a total of 895 in 2020, a nearly 800% increase. While car thefts slightly declined in Milwaukee in 2022, there were still six Kia and Hyundai cars being stolen every day as of the end of September 2022.

Kia and Hyundai recently announced a campaign to provide software upgrades for some of the affected vehicle models. But the attorneys general point out – and we agree – that the announcement “is long overdue and still not enough.” The attorneys general urge the companies “to do everything in your power to accelerate the implementation of the software upgrade and to provide free alternative protective measures for all those owners whose cars cannot support the software upgrade.”

In issuing today’s letter, Attorney General Kaul was joined by attorneys general of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, along with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.

Mentioned in This Press Release

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