After a viral trend on social media increased thefts from Hyundai and Kia vehicles, Hyundai released a $170 security kit. However, the cost of installation could rise even more due to the labor of the staff at the dealerships.
Hyundai has authorized an aftermarket security kit in response to widespread vehicle thefts involving a hack that has gone viral on social media and allows anyone to steal certain models with basic tools and a USB cable. The kit is made by Compustar and will be available for purchase on October 1.
Installation cost and time
However, there is a catch. The $170 dollars is the cost of the security kit. The total cost of installing the kit is still unknown. Hyundai spokesman Ira Gabriel says the installation will take about 2.5 hours to complete at a dealership. All 820 dealers in the United States are authorized to do so and are currently receiving training bulletins.
Cost can be higher due to labor
Jonathan Michaels, lead attorney for MLG, which has filed a class action lawsuit against Hyundai for failing to install immobilizers on the vehicles, says the installation will likely run to $500 based on dealer quotes. That’s because dealership labor is over $100 an hour in most cities, usually more. A 2.5 hour job could easily reach $300 in labor alone.
Software update on the way
Hyundai is also working on a software update to secure affected vehicles. Most Hyundai models from 2016 to 2021 that use a physical key and ignition fall under this umbrella, casting a wide net for potential theft victims. Vehicles with push button start do not have this vulnerability due to the more complex security systems on board. Hyundai cars with a physical key do not have an immobilizer, which is common in new cars.
Hyundai has also awarded steering wheel immobilizers
The Korean automaker has also collaborated with local law enforcement to notify owners of potential risks and distribute free steering wheel locks. So far there have been 15 class action lawsuits filed in 14 states involving Hyundai and Kia vehicles without an immobilizer.