4.9M Kia and Hyundai vehicles still missing anti-theft upgrades

Carfax estimates 502,000 vehicles in Florida still need repairs

ORLANDO, Fla. – If you own a Hyundai or Kia with a key ignition built between 2010 and 2021, you may be one of an estimated 502,000 owners of a vehicle still in need of a free security upgrade.

Patrick Olsen, Carfax editor-in-chief, told News 6 it is highlighting the issue on the company’s vehicle history reports to “spread the word.”

“Frankly, we are as surprised as you were by just how many (vehicles) still have this vulnerability,” Olsen said. “It does not need to be the dealership you bought the car from, and the fix is about an hour.”

According to NHTSA, the software fix enhances the existing vehicle alarm system by extending the length of the alarm sound from 30 seconds to one minute and requires the key to be in the ignition switch to turn the vehicle on.

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The automakers are also offering consumers free steering-wheel locks as another security option if the car did not come with an alarm.

Carfax is partnering with Hyundai and Kia following the joy ride challenges posted on social media platforms last year.

Consumers shopping for a used Hyundai or Kia can see whether the vehicle they’re interested in has had the software work done by checking out the free Vehicle History Reports that come with each Carfax used-car listing.

Carfax told News 6 that 15 states have 100,000 or more of these vehicles on the road. Florida is second only to California with vehicles still requiring a free fix.

The top five include:

  • California: 506,000
  • Florida: 502,000
  • Texas: 433,000
  • Pennsylvania: 227,000
  • Ohio: 215,000

Hyundai models involved are as follows: 2011-2019 Sonata; 2011-2022 Tucson; 2011-2022 Elantra; 2013-2014 Genesis Coupe; 2013-2018 Santa Fe Sport; 2013-2020 Elantra GT; 2013-2022 Santa Fe; 2018-2021 Veloster; 2018-2022 Accent; 2018-2022 Kona; 2019 Santa Fe XL; 2020-2021 Venue; 2020-2021 Palisade.

Kia Models are as follows: 2010-2022 Soul; 2011-2020 Optima; 2011-2021 Forte; 2011-2021 Rio; 2011-2021 Sedona; 2021-2022 Seltos; 2011-2022 Sorento; 2011-2022 Sportage; 2021-2022 K5.

NHTSA urges owners of these vehicles to contact Hyundai (toll-free at 800-633-5151) or Kia (toll-free at 800-333-4542) for information on the FREE update.

If you have a consumer or investment issue, email makeendsmeet@wkmg.com or text the words make ends meet along with the issue to 407-676-7428.

About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.