Drive A Kia Or Hyundai: Time To Invest In A Steering Wheel Lock
If you drive a 2015 or newer Kia or a 2012 or newer Hyundai, I have bad news. It's time to invest in a steering wheel lock like The Club because the cars are easy to steal with a USB cord.
My first thought when seeing this report from KSDK TV was that I'm glad my Kia's a 2014 model year vehicle. My second thought was, who at Kia and Hyundai is asleep at the switch? I mean I've never gotten so many notices from a car manufacturer about recalls, and gratis fixes, as I've gotten from Kia America. Now, this?
Yet, all those recalls and free fixes still didn't stop my engine from needing to be replaced on my dime. Apparently, the way my engine failed didn't qualify to be covered under a recall. So, maybe I have a slight ax to grind with Kia America.
This brings me back to the car maker's current problems. Easy to steal vehicles. Apparently, there are weaknesses in the ignition systems that allow car thieves to easily steal Kia and Hyundais using nothing more than a USB cord according to the KSDK-TV report.
In St. Louis, the KSDK-TV report says thefts of Kias and Hyundais are up 400% over last year. Take out those two brands and car thefts went down by 6%. So yeah it's a problem
What are Kia and Hyundai doing about it? Apparently starting with the 2022 model year both Kia and Hyundai made an engine immobilizer standard on all their vehicles, which should help the problem. In case you're wondering, it's the device that requires your vehicle to read a computer chip in your key to start the car. Something that my 2004 Pontiac Sunfire had years ago, just saying.
So if you're driving one of these cars that are easy to steal, what should you do? St. Louis Police Captain Janice Bockstruck told KSDK-TV she recommends owners get a steering wheel lock like The Club that fits over your steering wheel. She told the television station:
A visual of (The Club) alone will have the person move on to the next vehicle and not attempt to steal your vehicle.We have not seen any of them with a car Club attached to it that have been stolen.
I remember those from the days I lived in a less than nice part of Chicago back in the late '90s. After my car got broken into and almost stolen a couple of times I invested in one and it seems like my car got left alone after that.
My takeaway from all of this is it's a shame. I like driving my Kia Soul. It's fun to drive. The interior isn't nearly as worn out as my GM vehicles were six or seven years into owning them, and having driven the newest model of the Soul while mine was having its engine replaced showed me they actually do care about updating things to make the vehicle easier to drive.
It's a shame because motors that fail or catch fire and easy-to-steal vehicles make people like myself buy something different next time no matter how much we like the body type, the drivability, or the quality of other aspects of a vehicle.
The bottom line, Hyundai and Kia need to do better.