Kia and Hyundai vehicles in Canada not affected by U.S. theft issue, automakers say
Kia and Hyundai vehicles sold in Canada do not have the same anti-theft issue as those in the United States because of Canadian regulations, the automakers say.
On Friday, CNN reported that two large U.S. auto insurers were refusing to cover some older Hyundai and Kia models in cities like Denver and St. Louis because the cars and SUVs are too easy to steal. That's because they lack basic auto-theft prevention technology known as electronic immobilizers. These devices prevent a car from being started unless someone is using a key that contains the proper computer chip that communicates with the vehicle.
Not every vehicle has this technology in the U.S., particularly those with key ignitions—but it has been required in all new vehicles sold in Canada since 2007.
"Kia models in Canada are unaffected by this theft issue," a Kia Canada spokesperson told CTVNews.ca. "Transport Canada regulation requires electronic immobilizers in all Canadian-market vehicles built from Sept. 1, 2007, onwards. Consequently, we can confirm that Kia vehicles in Canada, even those with keyed ignitions, have been equipped with electronic immobilization since Sept 1, 2007."
In a separate statement on Friday, a Hyundai Canada spokesperson also confirmed that its Canadian vehicles are equipped with electronic immobilizers.
CNN reported that only 26 per cent of Hyundai and Kia models from 2015 to 2019 were equipped with electronic immobilizers in the U.S., compared with 96 per cent of all other vehicles in those years, making the Hyundai and Kia models roughly twice as likely to be stolen.
The automakers are now both offering security enhancements for all affected models
With files from CNN