Police Departments Now Offering Steering-Wheel Locks for Vulnerable Kias, Hyundais

May 30, 2023

While dealers and manufacturers are dealing with the sharp rise in thefts of Kia and Hyundai automobiles, police departments around the South and Midwest have begun offering free steering-wheel locks for owners of the cars.

In Raleigh-Durham and in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, police last week began giving away the locks to owners who can show registration of their vehicles, according to local news reports. A week earlier, police in Covington, Kentucky, and in Atlanta offered the devices. Authorities in Omaha, and in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and other states also provided the locks.

Thefts of the automobiles spiked late last year after a software security flaw was exposed on TikTok and other social media sites. The auto manufacturers have begun providing fixes and anti-theft software to an estimated 8 million vehicles, through dealers around the country. Hyundai said earlier in May that it has reached 6,000 installations per day, and is also reimbursing eligible drivers for steering-wheel lock purchases.

But thefts have continued, authorities have said. Attorneys general in 22 states have urged Kia and Hyundai to recall the vulnerable cars or offer other protective measures, and at least one AG is investigating the automakers.

Topics Law Enforcement

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