The complaint claims that the defect led to a spike in cases of reckless driving. City of Chicago has filed a suit against Kia and Hyundai, alleging a ‘critical defect’ in their vehicles contributed to an increase in car thefts.
The complaint also claims that the defect led to more reckless driving cases. . In the lawsuit, the plaintiff cites “the failure to incorporate industry-standard immobilizers in various models” for the rise of auto thefts that involve vehicles made by the two manufacturers. In the summer 2022 videos of thieves breaking into keyless Kias and Hyundais and starting their engines first caught the attention of the public.
In the lawsuit, it is claimed that this defect only affects American cars made by both automakers between 2011 and 2012 and that Kia or Hyundai have included anti-theft technologies in vehicles they sell in other countries.
The lawsuit claims that in addition to an increase of auto thefts the defect is also responsible for an increase of cases of reckless driving and property damage, as well as other violent crimes. After the defect was revealed on social media, city officials claim that thefts of Kia or Hyundai cars increased, from 500 in the first six months of 2022, to over 8,300 by the second half.
According to city officials, more than half the cars stolen in Chicago by 2023 will be Kias or Hyundais. The city of Chicago claims in the complaint that Kia violated Chicago consumer protection laws by claiming that their negligence caused a public nuisance.
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