Hyundai, Kia announce $200 million settlement over security flaw that became a TikTok challenge

A settlement was reached in federal court in Santa Ana over litigation brought by Hyundai and Kia car owners involving a security weakness that made the rounds on social media, the automakers announced Thursday, May 18.

Car thefts last summer followed a TikTok challenge that outlined a way to bypass security features to make it easier to steal the vehicles.

The agreement could be valued around $200 million, but it depends on how many car owners participate in the settlement, which will offer cash for some customers who have theft-related claims. U.S. District Judge James Selna will consider preliminary approval of the settlement in July.

Part of the settlement will include software upgrades on vehicles as well as offers of wheel locks for vehicles incompatible with the computer update.

The settlement covers about 9 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

“We appreciate the opportunity to provide additional support for our owners who have been impacted by increasing and persistent criminal activity targeting our vehicles,” Jason Erb, chief legal officer of Hyundai Motor North America, said in a statement.

“Customer security remains a top priority, and we’re committed to continuing software upgrade installations and steering wheel lock distribution to help prevent thefts and offering insurance options through AAA for those who have had difficulty securing and sustaining coverage,” he said.

John Yoon, chief legal officer for Kia, said the company is “very pleased” by the settlement.

“This agreement is the latest step in a series of important actions, in addition to providing a free security software upgrade and distributing over 65,000 steering wheel locks, that Kia has taken to help customers whose vehicles have been targeted by criminals using methods of theft popularized on social media,” Yoon said. “Kia remains committed to assisting our customers and upholding vehicle security.”

When a car owner brings in a vehicle for servicing the software upgrade will be automatically installed. For those with vehicles unable to take the upgrade, owners will receive up to $300 to buy an anti-theft device like a steering-wheel lock.

The cars covered are:

— 2011-2022 Accent;

— 2011-2022 Elantra;

— 2013-2017 Elantra GT;

— 2013-2014 Elantra Coupe;

— 2011-2012 Elantra Touring;

— 2011-2014 Genesis Coupe;

— 2018-2022 Kona;

— 2020-2021 Palisade;

— 2011-2012, 2019-2022 Santa Fe;

— 2013-2018, 2019 Santa Fe; Santa Fe XL;

— 2013-2018 Santa Fe Sport;

— 2011-2019 Sonata;

— 2011-2022 Tucson;

— 2012-2017, 2019-2021 Veloster;

— 2020-2021 Venue;

— 2011-2012 Veracruz;

— 2011-2021 Forte;

— 2021-2022 K5;

— 2011-2020 Optima;

— 2011-2021 Rio;

— 2011-2021 Sedona;

— 2021-2022 Seltos;

— 2010-2022 Soul;

— 2011-2022 Sorento; and

— 2011-2022 Sportage.

Related Articles

Crime and Public Safety |

Jurors convict man in 2019 killing of Long Beach woman, 5 dogs in crash

Crime and Public Safety |

San Fernando Valley man, woman charged with selling fentanyl-laced drugs on dark web

Crime and Public Safety |

3 clerks cited in San Fernando for sale of alcohol to minors

Crime and Public Safety |

As high tides hit Southern California, NWS advises of regional beach hazards

Crime and Public Safety |

Pasadena radiologist accused of driving Tesla off cliff with family did it intentionally, wife says


Share the Post:

Related Posts