JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Car thefts in Jacksonville are nothing new, but according to police, half the number of cars reported stolen last week in Jacksonville were made by Hyundai and Kia.
Older Kia and Hyundai cars that use a turn-key ignition are primarily the vehicles that have become easier to steal. Jenkins Hyundai General Sales Manager, Robert Cook said the older vehicles that use a turn-key ignition lack a security component found in newer vehicles that have a push-button ignition.
“The ones with the push-button start automatically have the theft deterrent system in them,” Cook said.
Hyundai and Kia are fully aware of the social media challenges that encourage young people to break into and steal their vehicles. And both automakers have developed theft deterrent software for millions of vehicles that lack an immobilizer. Both automakers are currently offering their customers free installations of that software. Hyundai is also providing customers with window stickers to let would-be thieves know the vehicle they are thinking about stealing is equipped with anti-theft protection.
In addition to security software, both South Korean automakers have been working with law enforcement to provide thousands of steering wheel locks.
The thefts of Kia and Hyundai cars are also impacting insurance companies. State Farm and Progressive Insurance have already begun dropping customers that own Hyundai and Kia vehicles built between 2015 and 2021.