Kia and Hyundai could pay $200 million for a design flaw in their cars

Washington. – Hyundai Motor America and Kia America announced Friday that they have reached an agreement to settle a class action lawsuit sparked by a series of auto thefts.

The companies said the deal could be worth up to $200 million and cover 9 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles from model year 2011 through 2022 in the United States.

Cars are not equipped with compression ignition and theft deterrent devices. This allowed thieves to easily steal it with a screwdriver and a USB cord, causing a recent series of car thefts across the country.

They said the settlement would provide cash compensation to customers who suffered losses related to theft or damage not covered by insurance companies — as well as reimbursement of insurance discounts, premium increases and other losses, Kia and Hyundai said.

Enhanced software will also be made available to eligible owners.

For customers with vehicles that are unable to use the upgraded software, up to $300 off anti-theft hardware will be given.

Kia and Hyundai have also provided affected customers with tens of thousands of free steering wheel locks through local delivery and authorities.

The total deal will depend on the number of customers participating.

Hyundai and Kia did not sell cars equipped with basic anti-theft devices, which affected the victims. Attorney Elizabeth A. Fegan from Fegan Scott, the law firm that represented the burglaries, in a statement.

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