St. Louis automobile thefts are on the rise, but city officials in the Democrat-run city are blaming the automakers rather than the thieves.
According to local media, auto thefts have increased by double this year. In July, about 21 Kia and Hyundai vehicles were reported stolen daily; this number increased to 23 in August.
City officials hold Kia and Hyundai responsible for neglecting to install engine immobilizers, a theft-prevention security measure. According to local sources, the “Kia Boyz” TikTok challenge that went viral earlier this summer demonstrates how simple it is to steal using only a screwdriver and USB charging connection to hot wire the car, making it an issue not only in St. Louis but across the country.
City counselor Sheena Hamilton said in an August letter to Kia and Hyundai that the businesses’ defective cars have created a public safety crisis in the city and are compromising the health, safety, and tranquility of everyone who lives, works, or visits the city.
St. Louis has a violent crime problem. What’s causing crime in the city? The Mayor’s war against the police? The prosecutor letting criminals run wild?— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) August 30, 2022
Evidently city “leaders” think it’s….the cars. Yes—car manufacturers are to blame not criminals
You can’t make this stuff up pic.twitter.com/KKc51Y7WiG
“Your companies bear the responsibility to mitigate the public nuisance your negligence has created for the city and its residents.”
Eric Schmitt, Missouri’s attorney general, stated that auto manufacturers shouldn’t be used as a scapegoat despite reports that St. Louis municipal officials intend to suit.
“St. Louis has a violent crime problem. What’s causing crime in the city? The Mayor’s war against the police? The prosecutor letting criminals run wild? Evidently city ‘leaders’ think it’s….the cars. Yes—car manufacturers are to blame not criminals You can’t make this stuff up,” he posted on his Twitter page.
While it is impossible to make a car theft-proof, thieves specifically target cars with steel keys and “turn-to-start” ignition systems. As a result of having a key fob and a “push-button-to-start” technology, the majority of Kia automobiles sold in the US are harder to steal. An immobilizer is installed on all 2022 Kia models and trims either at the start of the model year or as a running update.
Hyundai will also distribute them in addition to selling security kits, while Kia stated it will give free steering wheel lock devices to police in the most affected cities.