Kia and Hyundai pay compensation to settle a car theft case

Kia and Hyundai pay compensation to settle a car theft case

Hyundai and Kia have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit filed by vehicle owners for $200 million over theft of the cars. Announced on Thursday by both companies and attorneys representing the car owners, the resolution puts an end to the legal dispute.

The companies said in February that they would provide a software update for about 8.3 million vehicles in the United States that do not have an immobilizer system, to help reduce the growing number of car thefts, use a method popularized by TikTok and other social media.

According to lawyers representing the car owners, the roughly nine million affected individuals will be covered under the settlement that will include up to $145 million in compensation. This is intended to reimburse for only the direct losses of those whose cars were stolen.

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Hyundai and Kia pledged to reimburse owners whose cars were stolen or damaged. Furthermore, they will refund insurance deductions, increase premiums, and compensate for any other losses incurred due to theft.

For consumers whose cars cannot accommodate the security software upgrades, the companies will offer up to $300 toward the purchase of steering wheel locks and other theft-preventing gadgets.

In February, regulators reported that at least 14 crashes and eight fatalities in the United States were caused by TikTok videos demonstrating how cars lacking a push-button start and immobilizer could be stolen.

The settlement applies to owners of Hyundai and Kia cars produced between 2011 and 2022 that are operated by a steel key fob. It includes compensation for the total loss of the vehicle up to $6,125, coverage of up to $3,375 for damage to the vehicle or personal property, as well as insurance-related expenses.

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