Philadelphia Councilmember Demands Federal Recall of Kia and Hyundai Vehicles Amidst Alarming Theft Rate

Philadelphia City Councilmember Kendra Brooks has joined forces with a group of elected leaders from across the nation, demanding a federal recall of Kia and Hyundai vehicles due to the alarming rise in car thefts. During a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Brooks expressed her concern over the skyrocketing car theft rate in Philadelphia, with Kia and Hyundai vehicles accounting for over 60% of the problem.

Brooks, a staunch advocate for working families, emphasized the impact of car thefts on individuals’ livelihoods, stating, “A stolen car can mean the difference between keeping a job and losing a job. And working families should not be the ones bearing the burden for mistakes made by manufacturers of these cars.”

The Councilmembers Against Car Thefts (CACTs) have joined Brooks in their call for action, highlighting the strain these crimes place on local law enforcement. While acknowledging the software upgrades and wheel locks offered by Kia and Hyundai last year, the CACTs argue that these measures were insufficient in curbing the thefts.

Recent police records reveal that at least 35 Hyundais and Kias were stolen in Philadelphia over the past week alone. Shockingly, it has been discovered that criminals learned how to start these vehicles through TikTok, a popular social media platform. Thieves have been utilizing a USB cable to gain unauthorized access to certain models.

Hyundai, in response to the growing concerns, has expressed its commitment to resolving the issue. The company has made engine immobilizers standard on all vehicles produced since November 2021. Additionally, they have developed a software upgrade with an “ignition kill” feature to prevent the popularized method of theft. Hyundai has already rolled out the free anti-theft software upgrade to nearly 4 million affected vehicles, two months ahead of schedule.

To further assist customers, Hyundai has launched a dedicated website, HyundaiAntiTheft.com, and a toll-free number for inquiries and scheduling appointments at local dealerships. They have also initiated a program to reimburse affected customers for their purchase of steering wheel locks and are providing free steering wheel locks to law enforcement agencies for distribution to local residents who own or lease the affected vehicles.

In collaboration with AAA insurers, Hyundai has introduced insurance options for affected owners and lessees, with the program available in most states. The company has also piloted mobile service centers in various cities, aiming to expedite the installation of the software upgrade.

While Hyundai takes comprehensive action to address the issue, Councilmember Brooks and the CACTs continue to push for a federal recall of Kia and Hyundai vehicles. Their efforts aim to ensure the safety and security of working families who rely on their vehicles for daily transportation.

As the debate intensifies, the nation watches closely to see how this issue will be resolved and what impact it will have on the future of car theft prevention measures.

 

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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