Columbus, Ohio City Attorney to Sue Hyundai, Kia Over Thefts
Columbus, Ohio City Attorney Zach Klein said earlier this week that he intends to file a lawsuit against Hyundai and Kia.
He's going to sue over what he says is a failure to install anti-theft devices. That's because thefts of cars from the two automakers are on the rise in the city.
From The Columbus Dispatch: "As of Oct. 18, approximately 2,740 Kia or Hyundai models had been reported stolen to Columbus police, compared to 461 during the same time frame last year ― a whopping 461 percent year-over-year increase."
Klein complains that Hyundai and Kia didn't include security features such as engine immobilizers, reinforced steering columns, and sensors that would activate when the window glass was broken.
“Kia and Hyundai’s negligence in pursuit of corporate profit is unconscionable," Klein said in a news release. "It’s time we held these automakers accountable for cheating consumers and passing the buck and responsibility to clean up the mess they made onto the rest of us.”
Hyundais and Kias have been vulnerable to theft this year, thanks in part to a video tutorial that showed how easy it could be to steal these cars.
Columbus law enforcement officials also complained that the automakers weren't responsive.
Hyundai and Kia point out that their cars meet required safety standards and they've offered security solutions via their dealerships while they work on patches for future vehicles.
Klein is asking for sales of the affected vehicles to stop, a recall to be forced, and damages in excess of $25,000. He needs city council approval to hire a law firm as special counsel. Once he does that, he will file the suit in the coming weeks.
St. Louis has also threatened to sue the automakers.
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Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.
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