Automobile manufacturers Kia and Hyundai allegedly distributed their vehicles with substandard ignition security
MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hellmuth & Johnson announces that its clients have brought a class action against Kia America, Inc. and Hyundai Motor America following a nationwide rash of thefts that revealed a major defect in certain Kia and Hyundai models.
According to the complaint, Kia and Hyundai did not install engine immobilizers in many of their vehicles produced before November 2021. These vehicles are now sitting targets and continue to be frequently stolen across the country.
Manufacturers have regularly installed engine immobilizers in vehicles for decades as a common theft deterrent. Engine immobilizers prevent the engine from starting without using the vehicle’s authorized key. The system is based on a unique key or fob that contains a transponder chip that transmits a specific code to start the engine. The engine control unit does not activate the fuel system or the ignition circuit if the code in the key or fob does not match.
Law enforcement acknowledges these thefts are part of a nationwide trend, in part due to social media tutorials that show thieves how to exploit the defect, allowing them to bypass the ignition by breaking off the dash panels and simply using a USB port to start the car. Despite knowing and being made aware of the threat these vehicles pose, Kia and Hyundai have failed to provide any permanent solutions to consumers. Their conduct violates consumer protection laws and breaches the companies’ warranty obligations.
Click here for a copy of the complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. For more information about the case, contact Hellmuth & Johnson partner Anne T. Regan at (952) 460-9285.
The vehicle owners are represented by Anne T. Regan, Nathan D. Prosser, and Lindsey L. Larson of Hellmuth & Johnson, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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