Max Dorfman, Analysis Author, Triple-I
Cut price-priced Kia and Hyundai autos have begun being focused for theft at charges much like muscle vehicles and SUVs, the Freeway Loss Information Institute (HLDI) has reported, primarily based on an evaluation of 2021 insurance coverage claims. The spike is due, partially, to the truth that the fashions being stolen don’t have digital immoblizers that cease thieves from bypassing the ignition.
“Automobile theft spiked throughout the pandemic,” mentioned Matt Moore, HLDI senior vice chairman. “These numbers inform us that some autos could also be focused as a result of they’re quick or price some huge cash and others as a result of they’re simple to steal.”
Ignition immobilizers are normal gear on nearly all autos of that classic made by different corporations. They have been normal on 62 % of fashions of different producers in mannequin 12 months 2000. By mannequin 12 months 2015, immobilizers have been normal on 96 % of different autos, however have been solely normal on 26 % of Hyundai and Kia car fashions.
“If it doesn’t have an immobilizer, it does make it considerably simpler to steal,” mentioned Darrell Russell, a former auto theft investigator who’s now director of operations, autos, on the Nationwide Insurance coverage Crime Bureau (NICB).
In Wisconsin, which was affected by these thefts sooner than most, losses from Hyundai-Kia thefts grew greater than 30 instances from the 2019 stage.
Motorized vehicle theft continues to be a serious challenge
In 2020, the FBI discovered that $7.4 billion was misplaced to motorized vehicle theft, with the common greenback loss per theft at $9,166. A complete of 810,400 autos have been stolen that 12 months. The variety of autos stolen was up 11.8 % in 2020, from 724,872 in 2019. The NICB says the pandemic, financial downturn, lack of juvenile outreach packages, and public security budgetary and useful resource limitations have been key elements within the improve of motor autos stolen in 2020.
Preventive measures are necessary
The NICB recommends a layered strategy to forestall autos from being stolen that features:
- At all times locking your doorways and eradicating your keys from the ignition;
- Utilizing seen or audible units, like alarms and steering column brake locks;
- Putting in a car immobilizer, like a kill change or good key; and
- Investing in a monitoring system.