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$145 million Kia and Hyundai settlement claim to be notified by March 4

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Kia and Hyundai vehicles owners who got their vehicles stolen will soon be able to claim the $145 million class action settlement.

Customers who purchased or leased Kia and Hyundai vehicles between 2011 and 2022 and had them stolen will be notified by March 4, according to an announcement from the Seattle-based Hagens Berman law firm.

Kia and Hyundai agreed to pay $145 million to settle the class action lawsuit. [Courtesy of Kia]

The class action lawsuit was filed in response to consumers’ claims that Kia and Hyundai failed to install immobilizers in their vehicles, leaving them vulnerable to theft, with an estimated 9 million vehicles affected, according to the law firm.

An immobilizer is an anti-theft device commonly installed in newer cars that prevents the car from starting unless a unique code is sent from the vehicle’s smart key. Installation costs range from $50 to $160.

The revised settlement with Kia and Hyundai was preliminarily approved by the court on October 31 last year, and a final approval hearing is scheduled for July 15.

The settlement payments will be sent out after the legal process is complete, so it may take longer for affected vehicle owners to receive their money after submitting a claim. “A judge’s order for final approval could be issued any time after July 15, but if an appeal is filed, it will delay payment,” the law firm explained. The settlement will cover out-of-pocket expenses incurred by owners related to the theft or attempted theft of the affected vehicles that were not covered by insurance, the firm added.

The deadline to submit a claim to receive the settlement is January 11, 2025, and eligibility requires only being registered as the owner or lessee of the vehicle, regardless of where it was purchased.

Drivers can submit claims online at Kia and Hyundai settlement webpage.

Kia and Hyundai are offering free installation of security software, ignition cylinder protection, and steering wheel locks for affected vehicles. In a recent statement, the company said they are taking comprehensive steps to support affected customers and communities and are pleased to be able to offer some additional benefits.

BY NAKI PARK, HOONSIK WOO  [park.naki@koreadaily.com]