Your car might be a top target for thieves. There has been a growing trend of Kia and Hyundai thefts over the past few years.
Two major insurance companies have now stopped issuing new policies for specific models.
The recent uptick in thefts is due to a TikTok challenge, which started in 2020 and sparked this rise.
The videos show how to start certain Kia and Hyundai cars without a key.
The Highway Loss Data Institute, Insurance Information Institute, Kia, Hyundai, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, confirm about eight million cars have been affected.
Progressive and State Farm have stopped issuing insurance policies for select Hyundai and Kia vehicles because of theft.
The impacted models include 2011 to 2021 Kia vehicles and 2015 to 2021 Hyundai vehicles that lack electronic immobilizers.
That feature is standard in most cars today and prevents thieves from bypassing the ignition.
The Insurance Information Institute said those two big insurers are out until the situation is under control.
“Now, that doesn’t mean they’re going to do anything to your existing policy. So, if you have an existing policy for one of these cars, you are protected, your policy is not being canceled. But if you’re looking for new coverage, State Farm and Progressive are not going to write that at this time,” said Mark Friedlander, with the Insurance Information Institute.
Friedlander also warned that other insurance companies could follow suit.
If you are one of the millions that need to fix your car to keep it safe from thieves, you will get a letter or email notifying you of your risk.
Hyundai and Kia have developed new theft software for cars that don’t have an immobilizer. As the letter from Kia says, the software upgrade will be free of charge.
Friedlander says this update should have happened a long time ago. “The point is, it shouldn’t have gotten this far. Manufacturers should have jumped on this situation sooner, not to the point where it’s escalated so much that major insurers have decided to stop writing business.”
If you own one of the vehicles in question, the letter Kia is sending its customers explains how the new software update works and tells you where to get the service done.
You can also check out Hyundai’s anti-theft website to see if your car is eligible for the upgrade.
Vehicle owners can also contact Hyundai at 800-633-5151 and Kia at 800-333-4542 for information about the update.