MLG Attorneys at Law has filed a national class action lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai for a defect exposed by a trending TikTok challenge. The case, Stephanie McQuarrie, et al. v. Kia America, Inc. and Hyundai Motor America (Case No. 8:22-cv-01721), was filed today in federal court in Orange County, California.
“It’s time to centralize the fight with Kia and Hyundai,” said Jonathan Michaels, founder of MLG Attorneys at Law. “We filed the class action in federal court in Orange County to bring it to the doorstep of these two massive auto manufacturers.”
The lawsuit alleges that cars manufactured between 2011 and 2021 by Orange County-headquartered car makers Kia and Hyundai were made without an “engine immobilizer.” According to the complaint, engine immobilizers are critical, yet inexpensive anti-theft devices that prevent cars from being hot-wired, which have been used by virtually every car manufacturer over the last twenty years – except Kia and Hyundai. The first patent for an engine immobilizer was granted in 1919.
The absence of engine immobilizers in Kia and Hyundai vehicles reached sensational heights in July 2022 when the “Kia Challenge” was posted on the burgeoning social media platform, TikTok. The video demonstrates how Kias and Hyundais can be started with a simple USB cord and screwdriver. Since its posting, scores of Kias and Hyundais have been stolen across the country, with disturbing joy riding videos being posted in their wake.
The damage to consumers has been substantial. Chicago reported a 767 percent increase in car thefts in July 2022 compared with the same time-period last year, and in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Kias and Hyundais now account for nearly 67 percent of all stolen cars.
“The wrath of car thefts is likely to destroy the secondary market for Kias and Hyundais,” says Michaels. “Now that the defect has been so widely publicized, it is unlikely the thefts will stop anytime soon.”
The class action lawsuit seeks monetary damages against the automakers, as well as initiation of a nationwide recall. Further information can be found at www.mlgaplc.com/tiktok
About MLG Attorneys at Law
Located in Orange County, California, MLG is a leading firm for protecting consumers from automotive defects. The firm has litigated cases against nearly every major automotive manufacturer in the world, and has been involved in numerous class actions against automakers for malfeasance. Follow MLG on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Contact: Sharon Noot
Phone: (714) 600-9022