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Kia Class Action Lawsuit 2024

Last Updated: April 1, 2024

Kia is one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, one that has a growing share of the American car sales market. In fact, Kia America had a record year of sales in the United States in 2021, selling over 700,00 vehicles. But are those cars defective? A new Kia car class action lawsuit alleges that Kia has knowingly sold flawed vehicles that make it easy for criminals to steal. In fact, the rise in Kia car thefts has been alarming, with national media reports covering the spike, with some even linked to so-called TikTok challenges.

What Is the Kia Class Action Lawsuit About?

In the simplest terms, the Kia class action lawsuit alleges that the company, Kia America, Inc., manufactured, marketed, and sold cars that are easy to steal. The class action lawsuit points to potential defects, including the lack of an engine immobilizer, that Kia failed to disclose to customers. The Kia lawsuit was originally filed in a court in Iowa, but lawyers acting on behalf of claimants believe a nationwide class action suit should be launched and have filed Kia theft lawsuits in other courts in multiple states. The Kia car lawsuit covers a range of models sold between 2011 to 2021. Those who bought cars manufactured by Kia’s parent company, Hyundai, are also eligible to join the lawsuits, given many of the Hyundai models from the same years share the same potential defects.

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Kia Lawsuit News & Updates

  • April 1, 2024 - Automotive safety expert calling for increased federal regulations to fix Kia theft issues.
  • March 1, 2024 - Newark joins lawsuit against Hyundai, Kia over vehicle anti-theft technology.
  • February 1, 2024 - LAPD blames these cars for uptick in car thefts in LA. See if your car is one of them.
  • January 1, 2024 - Seattle City Council will hear a resolution calling for Kia recalls and Hyundai recalls linked to thefts. SPD reports that there has been a 363% rise in Kia thefts, and a 50% increase in Hyundai thefts between 2021 and 2022.
  • December 1, 2023 - Kia and Hyundai's crime spree continues in Louisville; more cars are stolen and damaged.
  • November 1, 2023 - Thefts of Kia, Hyundai vehicles hit all-time high in Chicago.
  • October 1, 2023 - Hyundai and Kia have recalled nearly 3.4 millions vehicles in the U.S., and are recalling owners to park their cars outside because of the danger of fires in the engine compartment. The recalls include multiple SUVs and car models, from 2010 to 2019 model years. This includes Hyundai's Santa Fe and Kia Sorrento.
  • September 1, 2023 - A federal judge has denied Hyundai and Kia's $200 million settlement agreement in a multidistrict class action against the automakers following a car theft frenzy that targeted certain model years, ruling that the amount is not enough for some owners.
  • August 1, 2023 - Experts estimate 433,000 Texas vehicles still vulnerable to being stolen in seconds. A screwdriver and USB cable shouldn’t be able to start a vehicle. But thieves have used those tools to steal thousands of Kias in connection with the so-called Kia challenge.
  • July 20, 2023 - Several insurance companies raising rates or dropping coverage of certain Kia models due to theft.
  • July 1, 2023 - AG Tong to investigate why Kia omitted engine immobilizers from now-vulnerable vehicles.
  • June 1, 2023 - Kia and Hyundai reach settlement of $200M over car thefts.
  • May 1, 2023 - Now, Kia owners face a new challenge: getting parts for their stolen vehicles.
  • April 1, 2023 - NYC has caught the Kia car theft trend. This trend started in the American Midwest and was propagated by how-to videos via social media.
  • March 1, 2023 - Kia's theft craze continues to cause trouble. Hyundai and Kia tried to solve complaints that certain models were easy to hotwire with a software fix. However, the lawsuits continue to rage.
  • February 1, 2023 - TikTok trend police report that thefts of Kia vehicles using USB cords are on the rise.
  • January 1, 2023 - Over 850 Kia, Hyundai vehicles stolen in New Orleans in 2022
  • December 1, 2022 - A new Bluetooth device is designed to stop thefts of Kia vehicles. New technology is being developed to stop thieves from stealing Kia vehicles.
  • November 2, 2022 - Kia is facing a class action lawsuit from drivers who say the company has not done enough preventing thefts.
  • October 1, 2022 - LaShaun Johnson of St. Paul, MN files class action lawsuit over Kia theft vulnerability.

Right now, the Kia auto theft lawsuits are at an early stage. Attorneys representing those who have joined the class action are gathering evidence in regards to the Kia defects, customers’ rights, and what Kia knew about the problems with its cars. The first lawsuits against Kia were filed in Iowa in August 2022. In September 2022, another lawsuit was filed in St Paul, Minnesota, with the plaintiff, whose Kia car was stolen, claiming that he would not have bought the vehicle had he been made aware of the defect. The St Paul Kia lawsuit also highlighted the growing problem of Kia car thefts due to the lack of engine immobilizer. Across 2021, there were 21 Kia car thefts recorded. As of mid-July 2022, there were 256 thefts – a 1300% rise.

Kia Class Action Lawsuit

Kia Models in the Lawsuit

The Kia class action lawsuit covers all models of Kia cars manufactured and sold between 2011-2021 that lack an engine immobilizer, but some specific models have been highlighted. For example, one of the claimants in the class action bought a Kia Soul in 2017, and another bought a Kia Sorrento in 2015. Both claim that the vehicles fail to meet federal standards of automobile safety due to the lack of an immobilizer – a device that locks the wheel when the engine is started without a key – or similar device.

Kia Optima Class Action Lawsuit

Owners of Kia Optima cars that have been manufactured (2011-21) without an engine immobilizer are eligible to join the Kia class action lawsuit.

Kia Sorento Class Action Lawsuit

Owners of Kia Sorento cars that have been manufactured (2011-21) without an engine immobilizer are eligible to join the Kia class action lawsuit.

Other Past & Present Lawsuits Against Kia

Kia and Kia car dealers have faced several lawsuits in the past for other infractions. These include:

Fuccillo Kia Lawsuit

In 2015, the Kia dealer Fuccillo Automotive Group was forced to pay $1.6 million in a Kia class action settlement after selling customers expensive and illegal (in the state of New York) Auto Theft Security Discount packages.

Kia Soul Class Action Lawsuit 2021

In May 2021, a class action lawsuit was filed against Kia over a design flaw in one of the seats of its newer Kia Soul models. The foldable rear bench seat meant that some passengers would be unable to access a seatbelt, thereby putting them at risk in an accident.

Kia Class Action Lawsuit Engine Failure

In 2021, a class action was launched against Kia due to defective “Theta” engines in some models of Kia cars. This included all models of Kia Sorento (2011-2018), Kia Sportage (2011-2018), and Kia Optima (2011-2018). Some 2019 models were also included in the Kia engine class action.

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If you purchased or leased a 2011-2022 Kia or 2015-2022 Hyundai, you may be entitled to compensation.

Kia Oil Consumption Class Action Lawsuit

Kia is facing an ongoing class action lawsuit due to an oil consumption defect in several models of cars. Many Kia cars with Theta, Gamma, Nu, Lambda, and Kappa engines have been affected by the problem.

Kia Theft Lawsuit

The Kia theft lawsuit is a class action proceeding against Kia America. Lawyers claim Kia has manufactured cars with defects, namely a lack of engine immobilizer that makes certain models easier for thieves to steal. 

Kia Theft Lawsuit

Lawrence Kia Lawsuit

In 2020, a Kansas law firm filed a class action lawsuit against Lawrence Kia, a Kia dealer in Kansas, alleging the mishandling of financial documentation that inflated customers’ monthly incomes when applying for loans to purchase cars.

Kia Lawsuit Settlement

While we don’t yet know the outcome of the 2022 Kia class action lawsuits, it is entirely possible that the company will decide to settle out of court. How much would any Kia lawsuit payout be worth? It depends on several factors, including whether there was evidence of negligence on Kia’s part, whether Kia could have done more to mitigate the risks of auto theft, and Kia’s obligation toward its customers. Other factors that could contribute to a Kia car theft lawsuit settlement amount include the value of the car (if it was stolen), loss of earnings if the car was used for work, and emotional distress.

How to Join the Kia Class Action Lawsuit

News reports have focused on a spate of Kia thefts in cities like St Paul and Milwaukee, but Kia has sold millions of cars around the United States. Anyone who has bought a defective Kia car without an engine immobilizer is being urged to contact a Kia car theft law firm to see if they are eligible to join the lawsuits against the car company.

Kia Lawsuit FAQs

What is going on with Kia?

Kia cars have been subject to a huge rise in thefts recently. Claimants in the Kia class action lawsuits allege that the cars are defective, mostly due to the lack of an engine immobilizer that makes auto theft more difficult.

Are push button start Kias being stolen?
The lack of engine immobilizers is very common in Kia cars that feature a mechanical (physical) key rather than push-button starting. This has led to reports of criminals stealing Kia cars using only a USB cable.

What is the Tiktok Kia challenge?

Car thieves have taken to the social media platform TikTok to broadcast themselves stealing vulnerable Kia cars. The “Kia Boys” account, which shows thieves stealing Kia cars, has over 33 million views.

Which Kia models have immobilizer?
As a reaction to the criticism and, presumably, the Kia lawsuits, Kia has said that all models of its cars manufactured in 2022 and beyond will now have engine immobilizers. However, the Kia lawsuits cover cars sold over a ten-year period from 2011-2021, which includes many of its most popular models sold in the United States.

What is Kia campaign customer reimbursement?

Kia has not yet agreed to a customer reimbursement program for cars affected by theft. However, the company has initiated such programs for defective Kia cars in the past. For example, Kia is compensating 2011-13 model year owners who have been affected by the fuel economy rating of their cars. On November 2, 2012, Kia voluntarily adjusted the fuel economy ratings of over 300,000 vehicles and reimbursed these car owners, establishing a lifetime reimbursement program.  The program covered the difference related to the higher fuel costs and included a 15 percent addition to offset potential inconvenience. A recent class action settlement has given these vehicle owners the option to receive the payment as a single lump sum rather than visit their dealer yearly to verify mileage

Is Kia a recalled car?
Kia has not yet recalled any cars over the risk of theft due to the lack of engine immobilizers. However, the company has vowed to add engine immobilizers to all new cars. 

What Kia has a recall?

Kia has recalled several models of cars for a variety of reasons in the past. This includes the 2022 Kia recall of over 36,000 Kia Telluride SUVs due to defective engines with fire risk.

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If you purchased or leased a 2011-2022 Kia or 2015-2022 Hyundai, you may be entitled to compensation.

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We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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© Copyright Jazz Media Ltd. 2024. All rights reserved

About us

We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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© Copyright Jazz Media Ltd. 2020. All rights reserved