City Council Members Urge Federal Government To Recall Kias And Hyundais Due To ‘Thousands Of Thefts’

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Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Seattle City Councilwoman Tammy Morales urged the federal government Wednesday to recall several vehicles due to “thousands of thefts.”

Morales and council members from other major cities demanded that the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA) issue a recall of Kias and Hyundais during a virtual press conference spearheaded by Baltimore City Councilmember Zeke Cohen, KING 5 reported. They blamed the automakers for making cars that are vulnerable to theft.

“These are vehicles that are used by everyday working folks to get to work, to get the things done that they need to do,” Morales said. “We are holding the corporations accountable for investing in the kind of fix that is needed for all of these cars and all of these families.”

Kia and Hyundai vehicles were the most common types of cars stolen in Seattle in 2023, the Seattle Police Department said. More than 1,000 Kias and 1,200 Hyundais were among the 8,300 vehicles stolen from the city the previous year, KING 5 reported.

Young thieves have targeted Kias and Hyundais as part of the “Kia Boyz TikTok challenge,” which exploits how easy it is to enter and steal the cars, according to the outlet.

“There’s young people who may or may not even know how to drive or have a license, who are on the roads in these cars,” Morales said. “That’s also causing disruption in our neighborhoods.”

Seattle has seen an increase in crimes committed using Kias and Hyundai vehicles, police said. The cars have been used to ram into stores to steal from businesses, according to the outlet. Stolen Kias rose 300% and stolen Hyundais surged 500% from 2021 to 2022 in the city. (RELATED: These Car Brands Are Being Targeted As Motor Vehicle Theft Soars)

“This coalition of council members from across the country has come together to really try to demand from the manufacturers that they address it,” Morales said.

The city of Seattle passed a resolution in December calling for the vehicles’ recall and is part of an active lawsuit against both automakers, the outlet reported. Hyundai released a statement on the issue in May 2023.

“Customer security remains a top priority, and we’re committed to continuing software upgrade installations and steering wheel lock distribution to help prevent thefts and offering insurance options through AAA for those who have had difficulty securing and sustaining coverage,” the statement said.