Local congressman pushing Hyundai and Kia to address thefts of their vehicles

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It’s a demand that needs to be taken seriously. Congressman Joe Morelle says Kia, and Hyundai company leaders must address the major increase in thefts of their vehicles. Saturday, he sent letters to both companies demanding that they take immediate action.

Congressman Morelle states in his letter that he’s deeply concerned about the numbers of these vehicles being stolen in just the Rochester area, and how they’re being used to commit other crimes.

“People are now stealing vehicles, and running and smashing them into the front doors of stores, and stealing ATM machines,” said Morelle.

It’s a problem both local police, and Morelle have been dealing with for quite some time now. Police say so far this year 168 cars have been stolen in Rochester. 116 of them involved a Kia, or Hyundai.

“It’s as crazy as it sounds, and we have to do everything that we can to stop it,” said Morelle.

In his letter to both Kia, and Hyundai, Morelle quoted the Highway Loss Data Institute’s information on how Kias, and Hyundais from model years 2015 to 2019, are easily stolen. Morelle says it’s because of their failure to install anti theft devices for their vehicles.

“These two manufacturers, only 25 percent of their vehicles have adequate safety measures. Ninety six percent of all other auto manufacturers have made changes to their vehicles. So this is really a burden they have to bear,” said Morelle.

He also says so far over two dozen steering wheel locks were sent to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. In just a few hours they were all given out.

“I talked to Chief Smith, the Rochester Police Department yesterday. They’ve been promised 500 safety lock devices, and they’ve received none so far. So we’re going to continue to put pressure on the auto manufacturers to deliver them to make good,” said Morelle.

He’s dismayed by reports of both Kia, and Hyundai charging hundreds of dollars for these devices.

“The consumer shouldn’t have to pay for this. So I’m hoping, and expecting, the auto manufacturers do the right thing, and pick up the cost of these enhancement,” said Morelle.

The Congressman is also going after social media website, TiKTok.

“You know, they continue to try to basically take no responsibility for what’s happening on their platform, but this is very serious, and they need to take it to heart, and I suspect that maybe a Congressional action against TikTok when they do this, and some liability for them,” said Morelle.

According to one national report, both Progressive, and State Farms Insurance companies are limiting coverage on some Hyundai, and Kia models. Also, a number of class action lawsuits against both auto manufacturers have already been filed across the country