NEWS

Hyundai Selling $170 Kit Meant to Foil Viral Thefts

hyundai accent 2020 oem jpg 2020 Hyundai Accent | Manufacturer image

Following a surge in thefts of many of its vehicles, which are often recorded and shared by the thieves on various social media platforms, Hyundai is selling a $170 security kit it hopes will help prevent future thefts — or at least make them more difficult. The problem stems from many of the automaker’s late-model vehicles with keyed ignition systems lacking an engine immobilizer.

Related: These Vehicles Are Most Vulnerable to Theft, Says IIHS

The kit will cost $170, but installation costs will vary based on dealer location, a Hyundai spokesperson told Automotive News. Automotive News also reports that an attorney for plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed against Hyundai estimated the installation cost at roughly $500.

Affected Hyundai models include certain 2016-21 examples of the Accent, Elantra, Elantra GT, Kona, Palisade, Santa Fe, Sante Fe Sport, Santa Fe XL, Sonata, Tucson, Veloster and Venue. All affected vehicles both use a steel key and lack an engine immobilizer. Hyundai says it is also working on a software update for the first half of 2023 that should better protect its cars.

Due in part to the ease with which these vehicles can be stolen, the 2019-21 Hyundai Accent is one of the most frequently stolen vehicles, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute. Similar models from Kia, Hyundai’s parent-company sibling, are also affected — the Rio and Sportage also made the HLDI list — though that automaker has yet to announce any fixes.

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Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and Cars.com in 2013, and he became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

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