Why are Hyundai’s easy to steal? How to Prevent Your Hyundai

Hyundai is one of the most popular car brands in the world, with millions of loyal customers who enjoy its reliability, affordability, and style.

However, some Hyundai models have also become a target for thieves, who can easily break into and start the vehicles without a key.

Why are Hyundai’s easy to steal?
Why are Hyundai’s easy to steal?

In this article, we will explore why Hyundai’s are so easy to steal, which models are affected, and what you can do to protect your car.

The missing immobilizer

The main reason why some Hyundai’s are easy to steal is that they lack a security feature called an immobilizer.

An immobilizer is a device that prevents the engine from starting unless the correct key or fob is present.

It works by communicating with a chip embedded in the key or fob, and if the signals do not match, the engine will not start. This makes it harder for thieves to use a duplicate or fake key, or to hot-wire the car.

However, many Hyundai models sold between 2011 and 2021 did not have an immobilizer as a standard feature, especially in the base trims.

This means that thieves can simply remove the steering column cover, insert a screwdriver or a USB cable into the ignition switch, and turn it to start the car.

This method is so simple and quick that it has been widely shared on social media platforms like TikTok, where a group called the Kia Boyz posted a video demonstrating how to steal a Kia or Hyundai in seconds

The vulnerable models

According to multiple class-action lawsuits filed against Hyundai and Kia, the models that are most susceptible to theft are those with keyed ignitions, rather than push-button start.

These include the Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Sonata, Tucson, Santa Fe, and Veloster, and the Kia Rio, Forte, Optima, Soul, Sportage, and Sorento.

The lawsuits allege that the automakers failed to disclose the lack of immobilizers to the consumers, and that they have not offered a satisfactory solution to the problem.

The possible solutions

Hyundai and Kia have responded to the issue in different ways. Hyundai has introduced a security kit, consisting of a glass-break sensor that sets off an alarm and immobilizes the ignition when tripped.

However, this kit costs $170, plus the installation fee, and many owners are reluctant to pay for something that should have been included in the first place.

Kia has not offered a similar kit, but has donated steering-wheel locks to police departments in affected areas to distribute to owners of vulnerable vehicles.

Both automakers have also announced that they are working on a software update that will address the vulnerability, and that they expect to release it in the first half of 2023.

They have also made immobilizers standard on all their 2022 models.

However, until the update is available, owners of the affected models are advised to take extra precautions to protect their cars, such as parking in well-lit and secure areas, using additional anti-theft devices, and removing any valuables from the car.


Hyundai’s are easy to steal because some of them do not have an immobilizer, a security feature that prevents the engine from starting without the correct key or fob.

This makes it possible for thieves to break into and start the car with a simple tool, such as a screwdriver or a USB cable.

The models that are most at risk are those with keyed ignitions, sold between 2011 and 2021.

Hyundai and Kia are working on a software update that will fix the issue, but until then, owners should take extra measures to safeguard their cars.


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