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Kia, Hyundai, Honda models top list of most stolen vehicles

Numerous Kia and Hyundai models were released without an immobilizer to prevent theft.
The Hyundai Elantra GT N Line
Posted at 12:19 PM, May 16, 2024

Four Kia, two Hyundai and two Honda models are among the top 10 vehicles being stolen in the U.S., according to analysis of 2023 car thefts compiled by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Ford and Chevrolet each had a model in the top 10.

According to the list, the Hyundai Elantra was America's most stolen vehicle, accounting for 48,445 thefts in 2023. That was followed by the Hyundai Sonata, which had 42,813 reported thefts last year. The Kia Optima came in third with 30,204 thefts.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau said that over 85% of passenger vehicles reported stolen were subsequently recovered, with 34% found within a day of the car being reported stolen.

"These rankings highlight the persistent threat of vehicle theft across the country," said NICB President David J. Glawe in a statement. "NICB works with law enforcement agencies and industry partners to deploy advanced technologies and strategies to combat vehicle theft from organized criminal networks and individuals. Even as we work to deter crime, it is crucial for owners to remain vigilant and take proactive measures to protect their vehicles."

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Kia and Hyundaimodels have long been scrutinized as some models have lacked features that deter auto thefts. Nearly 8 million Kia and Hyundai vehicles were released without an immobilizer, a security device preventing the car from being started without the correct key present (preventing theft by hotwiring).

Seventeen state attorneys general have sued Hyundai and Kia for not installing the anti-theft devices on certain models. The AGs noted that Hyundai and Kia vehicles have been particularly prone to thefts, exacerbated by a 2021 social media challenge. Videos were distributed on TikTok showing how to steal the cars in less than 30 seconds.

Last year, Hyundai and Kia announced that they reached a $200 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought by owners over thefts of certain vehicles.

The settlement required Kia and Hyundai to install anti-theft software updates. Hyundai and Kia have since released a software fix they say will end the thefts.

Here were the top 10 most stolen cars in 2023, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau:

  1. Hyundai Elantra
  2. Hyundai Sonata
  3. Kia Optima
  4. Chevrolet Silverado
  5. Kia Soul
  6. Honda Accord
  7. Honda Civic
  8. Kia Forte
  9. Ford F150 Series Pickup
  10. Kia Sportage

The National Insurance Crime Bureau provided the following tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Close and lock all windows and doors when you park
  • Hide valuables out of sight, such as in the glove box or trunk
  • Do not leave your keys in your vehicle
  • Do not leave the area while your vehicle is running
  • If your vehicle is stolen, call law enforcement and your insurer immediately because reporting a vehicle as soon as possible after it is stolen increases the chance of recovery