In response to a nationwide increase in the theft of Hyundai and Kia vehicles as a result of viral online videos, CARFAX is partnering with those automakers to provide consumers with detailed information about how they can further secure their vehicles---for free.
The automakers are offering consumers free steering-wheel locks or a free software upgrade, and CARFAX estimates more than 4.9 million owners still need one of those. CARFAX is helping to spread the word by highlighting this issue on its vehicle history reports.
"We're proud to work with Hyundai and Kia to make these cars and SUVs less of a target for car thieves," said Faisal Hasan, general manager for data at CARFAX. "By highlighting this important software upgrade on CARFAX vehicle history reports, we're making consumers aware that help is available and free. And that's both for the cars they own as well as any cars they're considering buying."
Consumers shopping for a used Hyundai or Kia can see whether the vehicle they're interested in has had the software work done by checking out the free vehicle history reports that come with each CARFAX used-car listing.
These vehicles---model years 2010 through 2022 that have keyed ignitions---include certain anti-theft mechanisms designed to secure the vehicle but do not include an engine immobilizer. Viral videos on social media have shown how to break into these cars and drive them off, and thefts have increased nationwide. The software fix updates the theft alarm software logic to extend the length of the alarm sound from 30 seconds to one minute and requires the key to be in the ignition switch to turn the vehicle on, according to NHTSA.
Fifteen states have 100,000 or more of these vehicles on the road.
Both automakers began adding immobilizers to all new vehicles in late 2021.