Kia and Hyundai owners continue to report car theft after free security upgrades

MPR News Hannah Baker Hyundai Elantra

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

Brooks also partially blames the NHTSA for not mandating electronic immobilizers: “They played a pretty big role in the problem here by not forcing manufacturers to upgrade their vehicle security,” he said.

By Cari Spencer
March 11, 2024

Hannah Baker was told her car would be safer from theft.

Following a nationwide surge in stolen Kia and Hyundai cars built without standard security technology, the companies offered free anti-theft upgrades. About a year ago, Baker got that update.

Then, in January, she walked back to the Roosevelt High School parking lot after her teenager’s basketball game — only to find an empty spot where her 2018 Hyundai Elantra was two hours before.

“And I just stood there in shock,” she said. “We went back into the school and my 4-year-old is just hysterically crying because, ‘Where’s mommy’s car?’ That’s when I started calling the police.”

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