Indianapolis, Indiana – In a rather concerning trend this year, a quarter of all stolen vehicles are models from the Kia and Hyundai brand. Consequently, due to emerging public safety risks, the city is entering into a national lawsuit against these car manufacturers, as disclosed by Mayor Joe Hogsett on Wednesday. The local police department in Indianapolis has linked a staggering 80 violent events in this year alone to stolen vehicles from these brands.
The lawsuit is anchored not only on the swelling crime rate involving Kia and Hyundai models, but also on the claim that these vehicles do not contain the standard anti-theft measures common in contemporary cars. “Scores of individuals have been deprived of their personal means of transport,” voiced Hogsett. “The sudden and completely preventable rise in thefts, often perpetrated by teenagers too young to legally drive, is overburdening police resources. They are risking their lives, their friends, and potentially everyone sharing the roads with them.”
The city has witnessed a staggering over 400% increase in Kia vehicle thefts since July 17, with numbers climbing from 99 to 513, in comparison to last year. Hyundai vehicle thefts have escalated by nearly 250%, surging from 95 to 331. “Today, I announce that Indianapolis is becoming part of a multi-state lawsuit, holding these manufacturers responsible for the financial burden it has placed on our law enforcement, emergency services, and the wider community,” asserted Hogsett. “In simple terms, we all suffer the consequences when a company prioritizes profits over safety.”
The local police department documented a marked increase in motor vehicle thefts in 2021 in Indianapolis. Their data reveal that around 10,500 vehicles were stolen, a sharp rise from the 4,500 vehicles stolen in the previous year, 2020. Kendale Adams, IMPD Deputy Chief of Investigations, highlighted that, “The upward trend that Indianapolis was experiencing aligned with upward trends being experienced by a number of Midwest cities such as Milwaukee, Chicago, Columbus, and Cleveland. Milwaukee was where we believe this trend originated. Indianapolis has experienced the impact of stolen Kia and Hyundai vehicles used in a crime in June that led to a 15-year-old getting injured.”
This case in Indianapolis shares common ground with several ongoing litigations across multiple districts in cities including New York City, Seattle, Milwaukee, Madison, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, St. Louis, Kansas City, Baltimore, Buffalo, and Rochester.