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Hyundais and Kias stolen nearly twice as often as other vehicles, national study finds

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FILE - Kia Motors Corp. vehicles bound for export await shipment as the Hyundai Glovis Co. roll-on/roll-off vehicles carrier cargo ship sits docked at the port of Pyeongtaek on Jan 24, 2018, in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. (Photo by Seung-il Ryu/NurPhoto A wave of Hyundai and Kia thefts over the past year driven by social media has made headlines across the country, and a new report suggests it hasn't been exaggerated.Several models from the related brands built from 2011 to 2021 did not have immobilizers to prevent them from being started without a key present.Criminals discovered that 2011 to 2021 Kias and 2015 to 2021 Hyundais equipped with ignitions that use a physical key, rather than a wireless key fob and push-button, could be started by using the tip of a USB cable, and the technique was posted online last year.Tens of thousands of cars have been stolen since, some of them by teens not even old enough to have a driver's license.THIS PICKUP TRUCK WAS THE MOST-STOLEN VEHICLE OF 2021A new analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found that the theft claim frequency was more than 80% higher for 2015-2019 model-year Kias and Hyundais combined than the average of all other brands.According to the HLDI, 96% of the vehicles sold in 2015 by other automakers had immobilizers, up from 62% in 2000, but only 26% of Kias and Hyundais did."Our earlier studies show that vehicle theft losses plunged after immobilizers were introduced," HLDI Senior Vice President Matt Moore said."Unfortunately, Hyundai and Kia have lagged behind other automakers in making them standard equipment."US TRAFFIC DEATHS DOWN BUT REMAIN AT ‘CRISIS LEVEL’Hyundai on Oct.

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