The DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) wants residents to be aware of insurance tips and resources available to safeguard vehicles in the wake of recent thefts, particularly of Kias and Hyundais.
Regarding affected Hyundai or Kia vehicles, there have been media reports of carriers, in certain states, refusing to write policies, denying coverage, surcharging, or raising premiums without fully complying to states’ disclosure notice, rate/form filing or other regulatory requirements. DC residents should know that DISB has regulations prohibiting the unfair actions of insurers operating in the District of Columbia.
If you are an owner or operator of an affected Hyundai or Kia vehicle and believe you were unfairly treated by your insurer, you may contact DISB at (202) 727-8000 to speak with a representative. They will help determine if an insurers’ actions are non-compliant. You may also submit a complaint through our website at: disb.dc.gov/publication/consumer-complaint-form.
Kia and Hyundai vehicles manufactured between 2011 and 2022, and possibly other vehicles, are vulnerable to theft because their ignition switches can be easily bypassed, and they lack engine immobilizers. Within minutes, thieves can hotwire certain models using a USB cable.
Activists and consumer protection groups demanded that Hyundai and Kia provide anti-theft devices and other safety measures to address this issue. States’ attorney generals, including the District of Columbia Attorney General, have also called for a nationwide recall.
Hyundai and Kia have begun providing security software updates, free of charge, to owners of affected models. Owners or operators of these vehicles should contact Hyundai (toll-free at (800) 633-5151), Kia (toll-free at (800) 333-4542), or their local Hyundai/Kia dealership for information on the free update. Owners or operators of these vehicles may need to bring their vehicle to a Hyundai or Kia dealership.
In May, Hyundai and Kia agreed to a $200 million class action lawsuit settlement covering approximately 9 million owners of the companies’ vehicles. Class members will be eligible to receive reimbursements once the settlement has been approved by the court. The estimated timeline for court approval is currently September or October 2023. The settlement includes benefits such as compensation for theft and reimbursement for insurance deductibles, higher insurance premiums, and theft-related losses.
Is Your Vehicle at Risk?
Follow these links to determine whether your Hyundai or Kia vehicle models are affected:
Protect Your Vehicle
Take the following actions to protect your vehicle:
• Never leave your engine running or leave your vehicle unattended.
• Lock your car and take your keys with you.
• Park in a well-lit area or parking garage.
• Remove USB cables from vehicles while not in use.
• Consider purchasing a wheel lock or anti-theft device.
• Contact your dealership for potential software updates or recall notices.
The Metropolitan Police Department has partnered with Hyundai and Kia to provide a limited number of FREE steering wheel locks to affected DC residents. For additional information, visit: mpdc.dc.gov/kiahyuandiathefts.