Hyundai, Kia models top list of most stolen vehicles in 2023

Rise in Kia and Hyundai thefts are likely due to a social media trend revealing how to steal the cars, NICB says

Hyundai and Kia models were the most frequently stolen vehicles in 2023, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). 

In 2023, the Hyundai Elantra was reported stolen 48,445 times and the Hyundai Sonata was reported stolen 42,813 times throughout the year, per NICB data. 

The third most stolen car last year was the Kia Optima with just over 30,00 thefts.  

Notably, Kia models made six of the top 10 spots on the list. According to the data, the Kia Soul, Kia Forte and Kia Sportage were reported stolen over 21,000 times, over 16,000 times and over 15,700 times, respectively.

CAR THEFTS IN US SURGED TO RECORD HIGH IN 2023, NEW REPORT SAYS

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and Ford F-150 Series pickup were also included on the list. 

NICB data also showed that 34% of recovered stolen vehicles are recovered on the same day as the theft. Additionally, 45% are recovered within two days, the NICB said. 

FOX Business reached out to Honda, Ford and Chevy for comment. 

Hyundai Elantra

2020 Hyundai Elantra is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois on February 6, 2020. (Raymond Boyd/Getty Images / Getty Images)

The report comes after the NICB reported in April that the U.S. was still facing a surge in vehicle thefts – a problem that started during the early days of the pandemic. Last year, vehicle theft claims rose 1% from 2022 to 2023, the NICB reported. 

CAR THEFTS IN US TOP 1 MILLION FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2008

The NICB said the reason Hyundai and Kia thefts occupied most of the list, including the top three spots, was likely due to the TikTok trend that revealed how easy it was to steal older models.

Hyundai and Kia began offering more anti-theft software upgrades to drivers in order to try and prevent the trend spread on social media. 

Kia Optima

Detail of a Kia Optima during the 27th International Motor Show at the Anhembi exhibition center in Sao Paulo, on November 3, 2012 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Mauricio Santana/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Hyundai said in a statement to FOX Business that the company is committed to taking comprehensive actions to assist customers who have been affected by the persistent thefts of certain vehicles manufactured between 2011 and 2022 that do not have push-button ignitions and engine immobilizers.

Among the wide-ranging initiatives it deployed, Hyundai said it developed a "a no-cost software upgrade for the owners of these vehicles to prevent the theft mode popularized on social media."

"For eligible vehicles that cannot accommodate the software upgrade, we are now installing ignition cylinder protectors at no cost to our customers," the company said, adding that all Hyundai vehicles produced since November 2021 are equipped with an engine immobilizer as standard equipment. 

The company is also providing free steering wheel locks to law enforcement agencies for distribution to local residents who own or lease affected models.

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Late last year, Kia America also unveiled another security measure "to support its customers in response to criminals using methods of theft popularized on social media to steal or attempt to steal certain vehicle models."  

The company told FOX Business on Monday that it "continues to take comprehensive action to enhance the security of our vehicles." 

Due to the actions it's taken the company said it's seen a decrease in vehicle thefts in several cities like Chicago, Buffalo and St. Louis.

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