Democrats across America recently blamed car manufacturers such as Kia and Hyundai for the increase in stolen vehicles, calling on the federal government to force a recall.
Seattle City Council member Tammy Morales joined a virtual press conference alongside those within the Councilmembers Against Car Thefts coalition, who urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recall Kia and Hyundai 2011-2021 vehicle models.
ON THE RECORD: Seattle City Councilmember Tammy Morales(@CMTammyMorales) says she had no idea stolen KIA's and Hyndai's(@Kia,@Hyundai) were being used by street thugs as battering rams during robberies. Do you believe her? Either way she needs to get on TikTok watch some KiaBoyz… https://t.co/l35bpH9Ivu pic.twitter.com/ZiAVZ2QYI3
— Jonathan Choe Journalist (Seattle) (@choeshow) February 1, 2024
During the conference, Morales cited Seattle police statistics, detailing a 363% increase in the number of Kia vehicles stolen between 2021 and 2022 and a 503% uptick in Hyundai thefts during the same period.
“The resolution and the lawsuit are really about corporate responsibility, corporate accountability for not just the theft but for the extravagant resources cities across the country have spent,” Morales said.
“Mostly young people out stealing cars, driving when they may not know how to drive, putting them at risk, and then using them potentially for other crimes, it just sort of compounds,” she added.
Morales’ concerns were echoed by Philadelphia City Council member Kendra Brooks, who was also a part of the virtual conference.
“A stolen car can mean the difference between keeping a job and losing a job. And Philadelphia car theft is skyrocketing and Kia and Hyundais account for more than 60% of the problem. And working families should not be the ones bearing the burden for mistakes made by manufacturers of these cars,” Brooks stated.
New York City Council member Tiffany Cabán also issued a scathing rebuke of Kia and Hyundai for their “sub-standard merchandise” despite raking in billions of dollars annually.
Baltimore City Council member Zeke Cohen slammed the car manufacturers for “failing to install industry-standard theft-prevention technology in their vehicles.”
The concerns from the Democratic officials come after California Attorney General Rob Bonta sent a letter to the NHTSA, calling on the agency to recall Kia and Hyundai vehicle models, arguing that the cars pose “an unreasonable risk to public safety.” Attorney generals from 17 states also signed the letter.
Cities across the U.S. have taken legal action against Kia and Hyundai, claiming that the car manufacturers “fail[ed] to equip their vehicles with industry-standard vehicle immobilization technology,” according to Blaze News.