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Lehigh County offers free anti-theft devices for Kia and Hyundai vehicles

Lehigh County offers free anti-theft devices for Kia and Hyundai vehicles

The Lehigh County Prosecutor’s Office is sponsoring an event Wednesday to distribute free anti-theft devices to owners of Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

Why these brands? Because they have been stolen at an alarming rate in recent years since a TikTok video revealed a vulnerability that allows many models to be started without a key.

Before 2020, South Korean cars were stolen at a rate comparable to other cars, but thefts increased by more than 1,000% between 2020 and 2023, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute, an industry group that tracks rates. insurance.

The phenomenon is partly due to a viral video showing that many models made between 2011 and 2022 do not have a device called an immobilizer that prevents them from starting without a key.

The problem gave rise to a recently settled class-action lawsuit in which the automakers admitted no liability but offered compensation to affected customers.

In response, the DA’s Auto Theft and Insurance Fraud Task Force will distribute free steering wheel lock devices to Kia and Hyundai vehicle owners.

The event will take place Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the AAA East Central office, 2072 Downyflake Lane, Allentown.