I saw this today on Car and Driver – Hyundai, Kia Take Action after Cars Become Theft Targets in Milwaukee: https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a38491394/hyundai-kia-thefts-milwaukee-action/. Longer article.
BY CLIFFORD ATIYEH December 11, 2021
Hyundai and Kia are working with local police to provide owners with steering-wheel locks, and Kia will make engine immobilizers standard on all 2022 models.
According to city police in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, car theft is an increasing problem during pandemic times—and it’s especially dangerous to own a Hyundai or Kia. Vehicles of these brands, in fact, represent two out of every three vehicles stolen during the first half of 2021 in Milwaukee. City officials, faced with police cuts and a record wave of violent crime, have called on the automakers to fix what they perceive as defects and have threatened to sue them.
According to police and WISN-12, while total year-to-date car thefts have risen nearly 2.5 times since 2020, the number of stolen Hyundai and Kia models was 25 times higher in just the first six months. Milwaukee police reported nearly 10,000 motor vehicle thefts so far this year, compared to 4509 last year and 3487 in 2019. Fox 6 Milwaukee says it’s the highest in 11 years.
When thieves successfully break into a car and start the engine without a key, the targeted vehicles are usually older, don’t have anti-theft devices, and have physical ignition cylinders that can be mechanically bypassed. But age apparently hasn’t been a factor in Milwaukee, where police say that thieves—many of them minors—are jacking late-model or brand-new Hyundai and Kia vehicles, and many are posting about it on social media.