Lawmakers from around the country are deflecting blame from the liberal-led regions for the increase in car thefts that are happening there.
Instead of taking ownership of the fact that car thefts are increasing rapidly, these Democratic lawmakers are saying it’s the fault of car manufacturers Hyundai and Kia.
This week, members of the Councilmembers Against Car Thefts urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall all models manufactured by those two companies between 2011 and 2021.
One of those members who attended a virtual press conference with the coalition was Tammy Morales (D), who serves on the Seattle City Council.
She cited police statistics from her city, which point out that between 2021 and 2022, the number of Kias that were reported stolen increased by 363%. In that same time period, the thefts of Hyundais increased by 503%.
Just in: Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and officials from 7 other states say Kias and Hyundais are being stolen even *after* receiving the companies' anti-Kia Boy theft upgrade.
Officials want the companies to buy back or recall the vehicles. https://t.co/qRczyOXMTp
— CWBChicago (@CWBChicago) August 15, 2023
The problem is rampant in Philadelphia, too, according to City Council Member Kendra Brooks (D).
“Philadelphia car theft is skyrocketing, and Kias and Hyundais account for more than 60% of the problem,” she said. “Working families should not be the ones bearing the burden for mistakes made by manufacturers of these cars.”
The city of Baltimore has taken this one step further, suing these auto manufacturers, claiming they didn’t do enough to make their vehicles difficult to steal.
Last May, Baltimore city officials said the automakers didn’t “equip their vehicles with industry-standard vehicle immobilization technology.”
“[It’s] a flaw that has been the subject of numerous TikTok videos demonstrating the ease with which these cars can be stolen,” officials with the Baltimore mayor’s office said at the time.
It caused not only a “rash of thefts” of both Kias and Hyundais in Baltimore but across the country.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott (D) said the automakers took “cost-cutting measures … at the expense of public safety.”
“They have left our residents vulnerable to crime and are significantly burdening our police resources,” he said.
The coalition said it wants the federal government to force Kia and Hyundai to issue recalls for their vehicles so this technology can be installed, which should lead to lower rates of theft.