ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Major insurance companies State Farm and Progressive are refusing to insure certain model Kia and Hyundai cars after hackers exposed manufacturing flaws that make them easy to steal.
Police said they have seen an increase in vehicle thefts and said Kia and Hyundai models seem to be the primary target of thieves.
Progressive told The Drive that it will no longer issue insurance policies to “some” Kia and Hyundai cars in certain cities.
“Due to the theft risk that some Hyundai and Kia vehicles present, in many cases it makes these vehicles difficult to insure, so in certain areas of the country we have adjusted our acceptance criteria for new business (there is no change for existing customers) on some of these models,” the spokesperson said.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, State Farm is also declining to open new policies on Kias and Hyundais.
Nationwide, teen “Kia Boyz” thieves have been stealing cars and taking them to perform dangerous stunts, light them on fire, or commit other crimes and boast about it on social media.
According to some reports, thieves can exploit a design flaw in Kia and Hyundai models that make them easier to steal.
Police have said certain 2011-2021 Kia models and 2015-2021 Hyundai models have a security flaw that kids are able to exploit using a USB cable.
New 2022 Kia and Hyundai models have an engine immobilizer to help prevent thefts.
Police suggested owners of the affected model year cars park in a secure area or add anti-theft devices to their cars.
Hyundai is now offering a retrofit security kit that owners can have installed for $170.
Kia says that the company “regrets this decision by certain insurers and its impact on owners and lessees of select Kia vehicles, which we anticipate will be temporary” and says it “has been developing and testing enhanced security software for vehicles not originally equipped with an immobilizer and has started notifying owners of certain models of the availability of this software upgrade at no cost to consumers.”
Kia customers with questions should contact the Consumer Assistance Center directly at 1-800-333-4542 (4Kia).
Hyundai customers with questions should contact the Hyundai Consumer Assistance Center at 800-633-5151.