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The Hyundai/Kia Theft Fix Is a Lot Worse Than You Think

From dealers quoting higher prices for the kits to finding out the kits can be had cheaper elsewhere, Hyundai needs to fix this.

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2018 Kia Forte
2018 Kia Forte
Image: Kia

The thefts that have been plaguing Hyundai/Kia owners because of the stupid social media popularity of the so-called “Kia Boys” has been a headache. Thousands of vehicles have been stolen across the country. Cities are threatening suits against Hyundai over the thefts. Hyundai finally released a security fix for the thefts — but the fix only pours gas onto the fire.

After manufacturing the vehicles without proper security measures to prevent them from being stolen, and not issuing a recall because of it, Hyundai wants owners to pony up $170 to purchase a kit to fix the security issue. That’s not including the labor costs the dealer would charge, either. But it gets worse.


I managed to get in contact with the principal attorney and law office that’s representing owners of Hyundai/Kia vehicles over the security issue and thefts. Jonathan Michaels is the principal attorney at MLG Attorneys At Law in Costa Mesa, California. Aside from representing the owners in the suit, Michaels also went and did his due diligence and investigated the kits further.

The first thing they found was sad but not that surprising. The kits, which are engine immobilizers, are sold by a company called Compustar and can be purchased and installed at all Hyundai dealers. Remember Hyundai said the kits would cost $170 to purchase. But after calling multiple dealerships, every single one quoted an average price of $209 for the kit. They wouldn’t come down on the price, negotiate for it, or honor the $170 price Hyundai said the kits would be available for. Even when presented with evidence that Hyundai said the kits are supposed to cost $170, the dealers said they “aren’t sure what you’re talking about.”


What’s worse was the installation costs. One dealer quoted two and a half hours for installation at $210 per hour. That means owners are looking at $730-$750 to purchase and install this kit at dealers. And remember, these are just the ones the attorney was able to get in contact with. With the way they like making up prices, it could be worse somewhere out there.

Image for article titled The Hyundai/Kia Theft Fix Is a Lot Worse Than You Think
Screenshot: Walmart

You can save some money, but Hyundai isn’t advertising it. MLG found the same kit, made by the same company on Amazon for $54. I found them at Walmart for $59.95 And you can have them installed at any local stereo place or even Best Buy for way less than what the dealer is charging.

Ultimately, MLG thinks that Hyundai is using this as an opportunity for profit. Seeing as a recall for something like this would cost billions of dollars, it’s easier for them to make people pay for the fix than actually go about it the right way. The class action that Michales and MLG are representing just want Hyundai to do the right thing: issue a recall. Fix what wasn’t made right in the first place. But it doesn’t seem as if Hyundai wants to do that. And now millions of people have to come out of pocket and spend more money than they should at dealers that are lying.