We’ve known for a while now that certain Hyundai and Kia models with a traditional metal key ignition system are way too easy to steal. That issue has led some insurance companies to refuse to insure them, as well as various governments to consider suing the Korean automakers. And now, Hyundai and Kia have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit to the tune of about $200 million.
NPR reports that the $200 million settlement includes about nine million Hyundai and Kia owners who have cars built between 2011 and 2022. Cars with a push-button start system are not involved, though. Only ones with a (not so) good old-fashioned metal key. Up to $145 million has been allocated to compensate owners whose cars were stolen. They’ll get up to $6,125 if their car was a total loss. Otherwise, they’ll get up to $3,375 to cover vehicle and personal property damage, as well as insurance costs.
“Kia is very pleased that today’s announcement will allow customers who have been impacted by vehicle thefts to receive additional benefits,” John Yoon, chief legal officer, Kia America, Inc., said in a statement. “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. Kia remains committed to assisting our customers and upholding vehicle security.”
Later in the statement, Kia said that the free security software upgrade “will be automatically installed in conjunction with any service or maintenance appointment that brings the owner of an eligible vehicle into the dealership.” A small number of affected cars won’t be able to handle the software update, and in that case, owners will be reimbursed up to $300 for purchasing anti-theft devices.