Several Democrat cities across the United States that have defunded their police departments and enacted criminal justice reforms are suing Kia and Hyundai for allegedly manufacturing cars that are easily stolen.
New York City became the latest Democrat city to take legal action against Kia and Hyundai, claiming that the two automakers have failed to implement adequate anti-theft measures, resulting in a significant rise in car theft incidents.
The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, cites concerns over public safety, emphasizing the potential risk of death and injury posed by easily stolen cars.
“This case is a clear example of what happens to public safety when car manufacturers choose not to include standard anti-theft technology in their cars,” according to the 39-page suit filed.
“Hyundai’s and Kia’s business decisions to reduce costs, and thereby boost profits, by foregoing common anti-theft technology have resulted in an epidemic of thefts.”
The lawsuit features images of stolen vehicles, including a Kia Sportage that was reportedly stolen and crashed into, killing a 16-year-old Milwaukee resident in June 2021. Three people in the car he plowed into were critically hurt, as were two of his suspected accomplices, both 12 years old, USA Today reported.
The Verge reported:
The so-called “Kia Challenge” has led to hundreds of car thefts nationwide, including at least 14 reported crashes and eight fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thieves known as the “Kia Boys” would post instructional videos on YouTube and TikTok about how to bypass the vehicles’ security systems using tools as simple as a USB cable. Other videos would feature joyrides in stolen vehicles and the resulting property destruction.
The thefts are reportedly easy to pull off because many Hyundai and Kia vehicles manufactured between 2015 and 2019 lack electronic immobilizers that prevent would-be thieves from simply breaking in and bypassing the ignition. The feature is standard equipment on nearly all vehicles from the same period made by other manufacturers.
According to the US attorney, Kias and Hyundais represented 19.3 percent of reported car thefts so far this year in New York, despite only making up 2.9 percent of registered cars. The city said 977 Hyundai and Kia vehicles were reported stolen in the first four months of 2023, up about 660 percent from the same period a year ago.
New York City joins California, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and other jurisdictions that have filed suit against Kia and Hyundai. The companies recently agreed to a $200 million settlement stemming from a class action lawsuit brought by people who’ve had their vehicles stolen.
The Gateway Pundit reported last month that the City of Baltimore had sued both Hyundai and Kia in federal court for producing cars that lack anti-theft technology.
In the lawsuit, the City of Baltimore is blaming Kia and Hyundai vehicles for making up 40% of car thefts in the city.
In March, the city of Milwaukee sued Kia and Hyundai too for creating “nuisance levels of automobile theft” in the city.
The Gateway Pundit reported back in 2022 that the city of St. Louis also sued Kia and Hyundai over “rampant car thefts.”
Auto theft is primarily driven by criminal intent and the actions of individuals who choose to engage in illegal activities. The decision to steal a vehicle is a conscious act, and it is the responsibility of law enforcement agencies to address and deter such criminal behavior.