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Kia, Hyundai settling for $200 million, but one Kia owner says it won't stop thefts

Kia owner complains big settlement won't stop thefts
Kia owner complains big settlement won't stop thefts 02:38

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A huge settlement is impacting drivers of Kia and Hyundai vehicles across the country.

It appears to be a win for Kia and Hyundai owners up to 9 million Kia and Hyundai owners who could have cash coming their way in the settlement over rampant thefts

Yet while car companies will shell out $200 million, some Kia owners believe it won't settle anything.

We have been reporting on the crisis of Kia and Hyundai thefts for monthsWe have been hearing from frustrated Kia and Hyundai owners who have had their vehicles stolen at least once – and sometimes mre than once.

Charles Malnarick keeps his Kia secure in the garage only.

"I lock it in the garage, and I put the club on it," he said.

That is because back in March, thieves stole his 2017 Kia sport-utility vehicle. When he got it back, the ignition was destroyed and the whole vehicle was trashed.

Charles Malnarick

Malnarick thought the company had now fixed the problem. He got a notification from the company, he said, to "bring the car in and have this anti-theft installed."

So he did just that. And what happened next?

"Two weeks after it was installed, they stole the car," Malnarick said.

Across the country, 17 attorneys general – including Illinois – requested Congress recall Kias and Hyundais until they could guarantee the easy theft problems were fixed.

Then came a class-action lawsuit. Now, the car companies agree to pay a $200 million settlement to owners with 2011 to 2020 vehicles with a key start.

Malnarick falls in that category.

"The money will be nice, but it doesn't stop the problem of stealing the Kias," he said.

Kia, Hyundai issue settlement amid rash of thefts 01:44

Under the settlement, owners could get up to $6,000 if the car was totaled – or just over $3,000 for damaged vehicles.

While it sounds like a win, Malnarick questions it all.

"They would probably be glad to pay the $200 million rather than retrofit all the Kias out there with key starts," he said. "But it doesn't solve the problem. There's still going to be Kias out there stolen with key starts."

An estimated 9 million vehicles are impacted in the rash of thefts. While the companies will pay the settlement, only $145 million will be available to consumers – while the remaining $55 million goes to the attorneys.

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