Milwaukee aldermen urge Kia and Hyundai to ramp up security features on their cars
MILWAUKEE (CBS) -- Milwaukee aldermen are urging Kia and Hyundai manufacturers to build cars with better anti-theft systems. This comes after over 1,000 Kia and Hyundai cars were stolen this year.
Police say 1,441 Hyundai and 1, 449 Kia cars have been stolen in 2021 so far. It's a major increase from last year. In 2020, 67 Hyundai and Kia were stolen between January 1 and June 16. The total of cars stolen this year is 4,368. This means half of those cars stolen were Kias and Hyundais.
"It seems like with the volume of cars being stolen at this point. it's just really hard to get them back to us," Taylor Brown said. Browne's 2021 Kia Sportage was stolen Wednesday, June 9.
Alderman Khalif Rainey and Alderwoman Milele Coggs are calling on Kia and Hyundai manufacturers to reinforce their anti-theft systems so their models will be harder to steal.
"I think it's a necessary step, someone needs to do something about it. It seems like the manufactures is a good place to start," Browne said.
Alderwoman Coggs says too many neighborhoods, streets and sidewalks have been filled with the reckless driving behavior of those driving these stolen vehicles.
Alderman Rainey blames Kia and Hyundai for the drain on police and other city resources that have to deal with the rash of vehicle thefts.
"I didn't even know my car didn't have back window security. If they break those windows there's no alarm that's going off and that's exactly how they got into my car," Molly Downing said. Downing's 2020 Kia Forte was stolen a month ago, but police recovered it days later.
"I definitely will not get a Kia again," Browne said.
CBS 58 reached out to Kia and Hyundai. They say they are aware of the rise in vehicle theft in Milwaukee. They are investigating the issue and working with local police. Below are their full statements.
"Hyundai Motor America is aware of a recent rise in thefts of some Hyundai vehicles in Milwaukee. We are close to finalizing our investigation and will continue to work with local law enforcement on how to best address the issue."
"Kia is aware of the rise in vehicle thefts of some Kia vehicles in Milwaukee. We are investigating the issue and have instituted an amendment to current and future production to provide full anti-theft capabilities across all of our vehicle trims. All Kia vehicles for sale in the U.S. meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Kia customers with questions regarding their Kia vehicle should contact KMA's Consumer Assistance Center directly at 1-800-333-4542 (4Kia)."