Some insurance companies announced in February 2023 that they would no longer issue new policies in some areas for certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles due to an uptick in thefts.
The National Crime Insurance Bureau said Hyundai and Kia thefts surged throughout the U.S. in 2022 due in part to “how-to” social media videos that provided instructions for stealing the vehicles.
Now, recent social media posts claim Hyundai and Kia have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit over theft losses. VERIFY reader MJ asked if that’s true.
Have Hyundai and Kia settled a class action lawsuit over theft losses?
Yes, Hyundai and Kia have settled a class action lawsuit over theft losses.
WHAT WE FOUND
Hyundai and Kia announced on May 19 that they have reached a settlement to resolve a class action lawsuit over theft-related losses.
The settlement, which still needs to receive preliminary approval from a judge, could be valued at about $200 million, depending on how many customers choose to participate. It includes approximately 9 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
Under the settlement agreement, customers who suffered “theft-related vehicle losses or damage not covered by insurance” will receive cash compensation, in addition to reimbursement for insurance deductibles, increased insurance premiums and other losses, Hyundai and Kia said.
The lawsuit stems from Hyundai and Kia failing to equip 2011-2022 models with an anti-theft device called an immobilizer, which “prevents most vehicles from being started unless a code is transmitted from the vehicle’s smart key,” according to court-appointed attorneys for the class action lawsuit.
In addition to the lack of immobilizers, the lawsuit claims that other design flaws in the vehicles allow thieves to steal them in less than 90 seconds.
These Hyundai vehicles are included in the settlement:
- 2011-2012 Accent
- 2011-2022 Elantra
- 2013-2017 Elantra GT
- 2013-2014 Elantra Coupe
- 2011-2012 Elantra Touring
- 2011-2014 Genesis Coupe
- 2018-2022 Kona
- 2020-2021 Palisade
- 2011-2012, 2019-2022 Santa Fe
- 2013-2018, 2019 Santa Fe; Santa Fe XL
- 2013-2018 Santa Fe Sport
- 2011-2019 Sonata
- 2011-2022 Tucson
- 2012-2017, 2019-2021 Veloster
- 2020-2021 Venue
- 2011-2012 Veracruz
These Kia vehicles are included in the settlement:
- 2011-2021 Forte
- 2021-2022 K5
- 2011-2020 Optima
- 2011-2021 Rio
- 2011-2021 Sedona
- 2021-2022 Seltos
- 2010-2022 Soul
- 2011-2022 Sorento
- 2011-2022 Sportage
Lawyers say the settlement agreement will provide up to $145 million for out-of-pocket losses, including total loss of vehicles up to $6,125, damage to a vehicle and personal property up to $3,375, and other related expenses.
Eligible owners of impacted vehicles will also receive a free software upgrade to address their lack of an immobilizer. Owners of vehicles that cannot accommodate the software upgrade will be eligible for reimbursement of up to $300 for various anti-theft devices under the agreement.
Hyundai and Kia said a judge is expected to review the proposed settlement for preliminary approval in July 2023.
Settlement websites will “soon be made available” to class members for more information, the lawyers said.