City of Rochester to sue both Kia and Hyundai over car thefts

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The City of Rochester is joining eight other cities across the nation in suing both Kia and Hyundai manufacturers, alleging they sold cars that were easy pickings for thieves.

News10NBC looks at the lawsuit.

The suit claims these companies cut corners, and placed profits over people, and safety. Each city in the lawsuit say they have experienced a recent rash of Kias and Hyundais thefts in their community.

“Rochester requires restitution to compensate for the manufacturers that choose to cut corners, and leave these vehicles susceptible to thefts,” said Rochester Mayor Malik Evans.

Whether it’s in Rochester, Buffalo, Cleveland, or Seattle, Kias and Hyundais are being stolen by the hundreds, if not thousands. Since the start of the year, over 780 Kias and Hyundais combined, have been stolen in Rochester alone. Some have even ended up being used to commit other crimes, primarily smash and grabs.

“These manufacturers knowingly made, distributed, and marketed these cars with serious security flaws, and they have failed to move quickly to solve the problems for thousands of car owners,” said Evans.

The City of Rochester wants reimbursement. Corporation Counsel Linda Kingsley says the city isn’t seeking a specific dollar amount in this lawsuit.

“Some of the monetary relief we are seeking is for costs related to law enforcement time and effort. The cost of emergency services, and other harms to our community,” said Kingsley.

Rochester joined the lawsuit late last week. Kingsley says it’s a federal action which will be heard in U.S. District Court of Central California as part of the joint litigation.

“Rochester is filing a suit to force Hyundai and Kia to do what’s right. Fix the cars and address the effects of the crime wave that their failure to install appropriate technology has caused,” said Kingsley.

Although the lawsuit will not help Kia and Hyundai owners who have been victims of these car thefts, Mayor Evans says it’s an important step.

“I want them to know that I’ve heard them. I’ve seen them. I understand that this has caused great hardship for them. And many of them don’t have the ability to bring lawsuits, because they spent time buying their cars. So, we do this on behalf of the citizens of Rochester,” said Evans.

Kia’s and Hyundai’s made before 2021 are mostly targeted by car thieves.