LS Attorney Attorneys general asked for recall of Kia, Hyundai vehicles due to lack of anti-theft devices

Attorneys general asked for recall of Kia, Hyundai vehicles due to lack of anti-theft devices

More than a dozen states are calling for a federal recall of Hyundai and Kia vehicles due to a lack of anti-theft features.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta and 17 other attorneys general on Thursday sent a letter asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a recall of “unsafe” Hyundai and Kia vehicles manufactured between 2011 and 2022. They accuse the automakers of failing to include anti-theft devices that were standard “in almost every other new car manufactured during that time period.”

“The bottom line is, Kia’s and Hyundai’s failure to install standard safety features on many of their vehicles have put vehicle owners and the public at risk,” Bonta said in a statement. “Instead of taking responsibility with appropriate corrective action, these carmakers have chosen instead to pass this risk onto consumers and our communities.”

What are Kia and Hyundai saying?

A statement from Kia said the company “remains very focused on this issue” and is taking action to address the attorneys general’s concerns. The company argued that a recall is “neither appropriate nor necessary under federal law” since its vehicles comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

A separate statement from Hyundai said it was communicating with NHTSA on how to assist customers and noted its vehicles are “fully compliant with federal anti-theft requirements.”

More than a dozen states are calling for a federal recall of Hyundai and Kia vehicles with a lack of anti-theft devices.

More than a dozen states are calling for a federal recall of Hyundai and Kia vehicles with a lack of anti-theft devices.

Attorneys call for ‘immediate action’

The letter comes one month after 23 attorneys general urged Kia and Hyundai to take action against a “crisis of thefts” fueled by social media. Data suggests motor vehicle thefts have been rising for several years, with Kia and Hyundai making up a large share of stolen vehicles in multiple cities.

The automakers earlier this year began offering drivers a free enhanced security software upgrade and free steering wheel locks through law enforcement agencies. Hyundai also partnered with AAA to offer insurance options in 47 states after some insurance providers dropped older Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

But the attorneys general say Kia and Hyundai have not gone far enough.

A free steering wheel lock “does not address the underlying ignition system flaw that makes the vehicle so vulnerable to theft,” Bonta’s statement said.

Hyundai expedited the rollout of its software upgrade for affected vehicles, the company announced last week.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 18 states ask for recall of Kia, Hyundai vehicles vulnerable to theft