A United States judge has granted preliminary approval regarding a proposed settlement that will provide up to $200 million or more in relief for owners and those leasing 2011-2022 Hyundai or Kia models which lack immobilizers.
Lawyers for car manufacturers and class-action participants reached a preliminary settlement in a lawsuit against Hyundai and Kia. Judge James V. Selna of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has given preliminary approval of the settlement, resolving claims filed on August 18, 2022.
Only owners of Hyundai and Kia vehicles that were stolen would be eligible for consideration, potentially receiving up to 60% of the Black Book value of their vehicle, including expenses such as licensing fees, sales tax, and registration fees. Vehicles that were damaged in the theft (or attempted theft) or had personal property stolen could be reimbursed up to 33% of the Black Book value or $3,375 per claim, whichever is greater.
A similar settlement was initially rejected by a judge in August.
The class will receive a settlement notice by March 4, 2024. They can file claims during the settlement period. If the court approves the settlement on July 15, 2024, payments will start.
The settlement is in response to a large increase in thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles. Approximately 9 million vehicles were produced without a push-button ignition or an immobilizer, making them vulnerable to theft. Thieves can steal these vehicles in less than 90 seconds using a USB charging cable or a similar-shaped metal object to turn the ignition.