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These Two Cars Are So Easy to Steal That 17 State Attorneys General Want Them Recalled The manufacturers failed to install anti-theft devices that are standard in other new vehicles, according to California's Department of Justice.

By Amanda Breen

Tim Nwachukwu | Getty Images

California Attorney General Rob Bonta is taking a stand against frequently stolen Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

Bonta is leading a coalition of attorneys general in 17 states plus Washington, D.C. calling for a federal recall of certain Hyundai and Kia models after what California's Department of Justice says is the companies' consistent failure to take measures against the repeated theft of their vehicles, per a press release.

The letter calls for the recall of all Hyundai and Kia models manufactured between 2011 and 2022 "whose easily-bypassed ignition switches and lack of engine immobilizers make them particularly vulnerable to theft."

Related: These Two Cars Are Stolen So Often Insurance Won't Cover Them

Motor vehicle theft has been on the rise in 30 U.S. cities, including Memphis and Chicago, since the start of the pandemic, jumping by 59% from 2019 to 2022, and the trend is expected to continue, CBS News reported.

In 2021, Hyundai and Kia vehicles began being targeted at an alarming rate, per the release. In Los Angeles, for example, thefts of Hyundai and Kia cars rose by about 85% in 2022 — making up roughly 20% of stolen vehicles across the entire city.

A major contributor? According to California's DOJ, between 2011 and 2022, the companies neglected to install anti-theft devices that have been standard in nearly every other new car manufactured during that period, including Hyundai and Kia vehicles sold in Canada and Europe. The omission has even made it difficult for U.S. owners to get insurance.

Additionally, the car thefts, which have gained viral status with how-to videos on social media, often lead to "reckless driving" and "further criminal activity," resulting in injuries and death, according to the release.

Related: Nearly 50 People Have Sued Hertz, Claiming False Arrest for Stolen Cars

"Kia and Hyundai have failed to appropriately address these safety issues, ignoring urgent requests from states, law enforcement, and car buyers," Bonta said. "We now ask the federal government to require these companies to correct their mistake through a nationwide recall and help us in our continued efforts to protect the public from these unsafe vehicles."

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a senior features writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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