A federal judge ruled Hyundai and Kia must face lawsuits by insurers over a nationwide rash of thefts made possible by the lack of antitheft technology in the models.
Hundreds of insurers sued the South Korean carmakers over the thefts, many of which were inspired by social media posts that shared instructions on how to steal certain models. The consolidated claims exceed $1 billion.
Certain 2011 to 2022 models by the carmakers lack immobilizing technology to prevent theft. The carmakers have been offering software updates to add the technology, along with distributing steering wheel locks for consumers, though many of the vehicles still haven’t gotten the updates.
U.S. District Court Judge James Selna in Santa Ana, Calif., rejected the automakers’ arguments that insurers were compensated by customers’ premiums and voluntarily assumed risk and that they didn’t indicate which individual policy holders’ vehicles were stolen, according to news reports. It determined that the vehicles’ lack of antitheft technology made them vulnerable.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today