KMSP Fox 9 website reports, “The (St. Paul Minnesota Police) department has investigated 212 Hyundai thefts and 256 Kia thefts this year, compared to 31 Hyundai thefts and 18 Kia thefts in the same time period last year.”

Alex Graham, a deputy sheriff of Ramsey County is quoted in the article, “these specific makes are easier to steal because of what he called a “manufacturer’s defect.” The vehicles were made without engine immobilizers, an electronic security device that make it more difficult to start a vehicle without a key.”

“”If you strip the ignition column, there’s a piece that pops off and you can stick a USB drive, a knife, or something like that. Well, think about how many people charge their cell phones in their cars. The exact part they need to steal that car is featured in most people’s cars,” Graham said.”

“Graham said locally, the offenders are typically juveniles, who break the car’s back window and can steal the car within seconds. He calls the thefts a “status symbol” for these young people. “They’ll do donuts in front of police agencies they know can’t pursue, and they’re jumping out of the car posing with a camera taking a Snapchat photo,” he explained.”

“Kias and Hyundais up until model year 2022 are affected.”

To read the article click here.

According to Kelley Blue Book’s website, “If you’re a Hyundai or Kia owner wondering whether you should be concerned, check your key. If it’s a simple steel key, your car may lack an immobilizer. If the head of your key is contained in a plastic housing, or you have a fob with buttons to remotely lock and unlock the doors, your car has an immobilizer.”