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CHICAGO — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined several of his colleagues Tuesday urging Kia and Hyundai to take “comprehensive action” over car thefts in the Chicago area.

Kia and Hyundai recently announced a customer service campaign to upgrade the software of affected vehicles. However, Raoul and the coalition said in a letter that the plan is insufficient, incomplete and long overdue.

The AG’s office said Hyundai and Kia failed to equip vehicle models with anti-theft immobilizers, which prevent the vehicle from operating without a key or key fob.

“I urge Kia and Hyundai to accelerate a software upgrade to ensure consumers’ vehicles are properly equipped to guard against theft. Additionally, these companies need to provide free alternate protective measures to owners with vehicles that cannot support the software upgrade,” Raoul said. “I stand committed to protecting consumers and our communities, and I urge these car companies to do their part to prevent these thefts.”

In 2022, the AG’s office said there were over 7,000 Hyundai and Kia thefts in Chicago, which account for 10% of all registered Kia vehicles and 7% of all registered Hyundai vehicles in the city.

Hyundai released the following statement:

Hyundai is committed to the quality and integrity of our products and plans to continue supporting the communities affected by this theft issue. All of our vehicles meet the anti-theft requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 114.

We appreciate and share the interest in addressing the rise in thefts of these vehicles. We recently announced the launch of a free software upgrade to prevent the theft mode popularized on social media. To date, Hyundai has contacted more than a million owners and leases of Hyundai vehicles with information on the software update. We have also initiated a program to begin reimbursement to eligible customers for their purchase of steering wheel locks. Hyundai has shipped more than 40,000 steering wheel locks to more than 370 law enforcement agencies and will continue to provide free steering wheel locks to them for distribution to residents who own or lease affected models.

Kia released the following statement:

“We thank the Attorneys General for the opportunity to let them know what we have done and will continue to do to combat this rise in car theft and the role social media has played in encouraging it. We are committed to working with these officials and with law enforcement agencies at the state and local level to ensure vehicle security.

To be clear, Kia began testing and developing a free software upgrade to restrict the unauthorized operation of vehicle ignition systems months ago. We have already directly contacted over 1.1 million owners and lessees of impacted Kia vehicles to let them know of the availability of the software upgrade and to advise them to schedule a free installation at any Kia dealer. We are scheduled to contact over 2 million such owners and lessees by the end of March. Dealers who have installed the free upgrade report successful installation takes under an hour to complete, and customer feedback has been positive.

In addition to this upgrade, we have already provided more than 23,000 steering wheel locks to over 120 law enforcement agencies across the country for them to distribute – at no cost – to impacted owners. We will continue to make these locks available – at no cost – as they are needed. We have also distributed hundreds of free steering wheel locks directly to impacted customers. On top of that, we have also established a website where owners can use their VIN to review the status of their vehicle’s eligibility for the free software upgrade and can receive more information about directly obtaining a free steering wheel lock from Kia. We are also in contact with major insurance carriers so they are aware of the actions we have taken and we are actively working with them to ensure our customers have access to quality and comprehensive coverage.

Kia owners can contact our Customer Care team directly at 1-800-333-4542 (4Kia) or online at the dedicated website – – for more information on their eligibility for the free upgrade or to learn more about obtaining a free steering wheel lock.