The California attorney general and the attorneys general of 17 other states on Thursday asked a federal regulator to recall Hyundai and Kia vehicles, saying they are more likely to be stolen because they lack safety features that are standard in other cars.
Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp. vehicles represent a large share of stolen cars in multiple U.S. cities, according to data from police and state officials. While most cars in recent years have been installed with industry standard anti-theft devices, some entry-level models from the Korean automakers were not equipped with engine immobilizers or push-button ignitions.
Hyundai Motor is the biggest shareholder of Kia.
"Kia’s and Hyundai’s failure to install standard safety features on many of their vehicles have put vehicle owners and the public at risk,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who is spearheading the push by the states for a recall, said in a statement. The states have written to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with their concerns.