Minnesota Man Files Lawsuit Over Kia, Hyundai Car Thefts

Sept. 19, 2022

Plaintiff LaShaun Johnson had his Kia stolen in August, and the thieves used a screwdriver to successfully start the car.

Sept. 19, 2022—A man in St. Paul, Minnesota, has filed a class action lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai, according to a press release.  

The lawsuit claims that Kia and Hyundai vehicles are easy to steal due to the fact that they do not come with an engine immobilizer, according to Johnson Becker law firm in St. Paul. The law firm also noted that plaintiff LaShaun Johnson had his 2019 Kia Sorrento stolen in August. The thieves used a screwdriver to successfully start the car. 

An immobilizer transmits a code to the vehicle's engine to show that a key is present or a key fob is in the vehicle. If there is no immobilizer present, all that thieves need is a tool of sorts to start the car. This tool could range from a knife to a USB cord. The complaint said that allegedly, newer Kia and Hyundai vehicles are fitted with engine mobilizers, but many people with older vehicles are still susceptible to theft. 

The complaint also outlines some shocking numbers in relation to car thefts in the St. Paul area. It reports that Hyundai thefts have gone up 584% and Kia vehicles have grown to be 13 times more likely to be stolen than in the past. 

The complaint also said that even though Kia and Hyundai are aware of the issues with the vehicles, neither have issued any recalls on the matter. Additionally, Johnson Becker said the automakers are in violation of a Federal Motor Vehicle Standard requiring vehicles cannot be started without a key. 

The full complaint can be viewed here. 

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Ratchet+Wrench Staff Reporters

The Ratchet+Wrench staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and mechanical repair experience.

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