Crime is up 2,500 percent.
The city of Milwaukee might sue the Hyundai/Kia group, because their cars are too easy to steal. The city already has a stolen vehicle problem with almost 30 thefts per day, which is triple what it was a few years ago. It doesn't beat the LA/Long Beach, Houston or Dallas areas, but it's on track to land at more than 10,000 thefts this year.
"We looked at a number of potential causes of action. We have not joined any lawsuits at this point," remarked Deputy City Attorney Yolanda McGowan to WISN. "It should be a priority because it is having a real detrimental impact on the quality of life for the citizens of Milwaukee," added Michael Murphy, a city alderman.
According to Milwaukee police those two companies account for 66% of the thefts, which have grown by an astounding 2,500 percent, year over year. Apparently, the current model Kias can be broken into through the back window without setting off an alarm. After that the thieves just pop off the steering column and go to work. The segment featured a Kia Soul, but as we know Hyundai's are mechanically very similar.
Many of those thieves are minors, according to reports, and much of the carnage is posted to social media channels too. That may make the kids easier to track, but Mayor Tom Barrett admitted that only about 2% of car thieves are prosecuted.
Kia put out a statement saying it will "provide anti-theft steering wheel locks to owners of certain Kia vehicles that are not fitted with an engine immobilizer. Kia enhanced vehicle security so that all 2022 Model Year Kia vehicles will have an engine immobilizer fitted as standard. While we have seen the same public statements about the potential for a lawsuit to address a crime wave in Milwaukee, we are not aware of the basis for any legal claims against Kia America."
But like everything between societies and criminals, it's an arms race. Thieves get better at stealing, Tesla adds a Sentry Mode, then thieves learn to bypass that. And don't even get us started on the pinched Hellcats. The moral of the story is to store your car in a protected place if possible, maybe in a garage or at least behind a gate. If you have a Tesla, keep your key card far from the car. And if, by chance, someone tries to steal your car, just let them take it. Insurance is a pain, but less so than the alternative.