Hyundai has reached a settlement with plaintiffs who have initiated class action lawsuits against the automaker in the United States. The Korean company will compensate them to the tune of a total of $ 200 million, or about 185 million euros. Nearly 9 million car owners who have suffered theft and accidents are affected, a press release said on Thursday.
"Kia Boyz" and a "Kia Challenge"
At the root of this damage is actually a challenge launched in 2022 on TikTok and quickly went viral. This "Kia Challenge" suggested to Internet users to steal vehicles of Hyundai and Kia brands. A group of criminals calling themselves "Kia Boyz" had previously posted a video on social networks showing how to force the start of some cars with a USB cable.
The theft of Elantra, Santa Fe and Tucson models released between 2011 and 2022 then experienced a strong upsurge despite an anti-theft software deployed last February by Hyundai on vehicles without an immobilizer system. "At least 14 accidents and 8 deaths" were caused by the "Kia Challenge", said the US Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA).
Compensating for insurance non-reimbursements
The agreement between Hyundai – Kia and the millions of plaintiffs aims to provide compensation to certain financially harmed persons. The insurance of the many owners of stolen or damaged cars has not all made full reimbursement of claims. In addition, insured persons have had to pay deductibles or incur an increase in their contributions.