Hyundai and Kia's car theft legal battles are set to continue after a federal court judge declined a proposed settlement agreement worth $200 million.
In May, Hyundai Motor America and Kia America tried to settle rather than go to court in a high-profile class-action lawsuit. As part of the $200 million settlement, Kia and Hyundai agreed to compensate around 9 million owners who suffered losses due to car damage and increased insurance premiums. The South Korean manufacturers also agreed to reimburse customers who purchased anti-theft devices. A new software update to stop future thefts was also part of the settlement agreement.
According to the Associated Press, the above was not good enough. U.S. District Judge James Selna said the settlement fails to provide "fair and adequate" relief.
Selna remained concerned about whether the software update would work and the calculation of payouts to customers. Selna was likely spurred on by a letter from six attorneys general, asking Selna to force the manufacturers to install anti-theft technology and implement a buyback program. These measures would replace the software update and cash payments Hyundai and Kia suggested.
Hyundai and Kia have been swatting flies since those infamous TikTok videos emerged. Hyundai developed an anti-theft software update for the 8.3 million vehicles affected. Still, this move wasn't good enough for State Farm, which announced it would no longer insure certain Hyundai and Kia models, including popular cars like the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sorento.
Hyundai eventually found an alternative insurance solution for its customers, which likely came with a hefty premium over what they used to pay.