Insurance companies State Farm and Progressive say they have temporarily stopped writing new auto insurance policies for some model years and trim levels of Hyundai and Kia vehicles because of an increase in thefts of those cars, according to CNN and Money.com.
“This is a serious problem impacting our customers and the entire auto insurance industry,” a State Farm spokesperson said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.
The move comes after social media posts showed how you can start certain Kia and Hyundai cars without using a key.
James Bell, a spokesperson for Kia, told USA Today that the insurance company’s move impacts certain Kias built between 2011 and 2021 that are equipped with a steel key to “insert and turn to start” the ignition.
It is easier to take the cars because of a lack of electronic immobilizers in some Hyundai and Kia vehicles, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute. The electronic immobilizers prevent thieves from breaking in and bypassing the ignition.
The devices are standard on almost all vehicles from those years made by other automakers, the HLDI said.
According to the HLDI, theft claims for 2015-2019 Hyundai and Kia vehicles were almost twice as high as compared with all other automakers.
“We take seriously our responsibility to manage risk and the impact of excess claim costs on all our customers,” State Farm said in a statement. “In this case, it became necessary to take action to protect our policyholders and our business.”
“Hyundai is also providing free steering wheel locks, as available, to select law enforcement agencies across the country for distribution to local residents who own or lease affected models,” according to Ira Gabriel, a Hyundai spokesperson. “Owners may also bring their vehicles to a local Hyundai dealer for the purchase and installation of a customized security kit.”
The kits are available for purchase and installation at Hyundai dealerships and Compustar authorized installers across the country. They start at $170 and there are also charges for installation.
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