CHICAGO (CBS) – The City of Chicago filed a lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai after a huge surge in thefts last year.
The lawsuit accused the companies of failing to equip cars with anti-theft technology that's standard in vehicles sold overseas.
The city accused the companies of "deceptively" assuring consumers that their cars had "advanced" safety features despite knowing about the defect.
"The impact of car theft on Chicago residents can be deeply destabilizing, particularly for low- to middle-income workers who have fewer options for getting to work and taking care of their families," said Mayor Brandon Johnson in a statement. "The failure of Kia and Hyundai to install basic auto-theft prevention technology in these models is sheer negligence, and as a result, a citywide and nationwide crime spree around automobile theft has been unfolding right before our eyes."
The city said since video posted on social media exposed the defect, thefts of Kia and Hyundai cars in Chicago surged from 500 in the first half of 2022 to more than 8,300 during the second half of the year. Thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles make up more than half of all cars stolen in the city in 2023.
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