Hyundai offering security upgrade for owners who qualify

Hyundai offers free security updates

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The City of Rochester is partnering with Hyundai to offer free security updates. It comes after thousands of car thefts in Monroe County this year, alone.

You may recall, Kia held a similar event recently. This weekend is for Hyundai customers.

The upgrades will be offered Friday Nov. 17 and Saturday Nov. 18, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Lot D across from Innovative Field.

Hyundai representatives said the upgrade applies to models from 2011 through 2021. And, you have to have an old-school blade key that goes in an ignition. If you just have a key fob, you don’t need the upgrade.

The upgrades are to ensure these models are less vulnerable to theft.

Dave Vandelinde, VP for After Sales Hyundai said the goal is to help the customer feel more secure, in a time where car thefts have been rampant.

“In 2021 we noticed the social media videos popularized on TikTok, showing how to steal the vehicles, so at that time we made the decision to develop a unique software situation, for our vehicles that would add that immobilizer technology,” said Vandelinde.

The immobilizer is activated once the driver locks the car. Vandelinde said it took several months to develop to security software upgrade. Along the way, other options were offered to customers.

“We engaged with local police departments and started handing out steering wheel locks. So to date, we’ve handed out over 125,000 steering wheel locks,” he said.

Rochester Police Captain Greg Bello said the city has seen over 2,800 car thefts this year, to date.

The peak was around June, with 400 thefts. But those numbers are going down.

“In September, we decreased that number to around 120 vehicles, and 150 in October,” said Bello.

Bello said Monroe County’s new JEDS program (Juvenile Enhanced Diversion Stabilization) has helped lower these numbers. Through the program, teens who commit crimes go to a detention where they’re given special services to correct behavior.

But the work is not over yet, he said.

Combatting the crime, takes a preventative approach; one that involves the community.

“The feedback that we’ve gotten throughout all these events, across the country, is the real importance of the community and police departments working together with good corporate citizens like Hyundai to be able to address the situation,” said Vandelinde.

Hyundai is also handing out complimentary steering wheel locks.

Kia told News10NBC their event provided upgrades to close to 100 owners, and assisted about 200 owners in total for information, and steering wheel locks.