Top Most Kia, Hyundai sedans Stolen Cars in 2023

Kia and Hyundai sedans are now the most stolen vehicles in the U.S. This news comes from the latest report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

The Hyundai Elantra, Sonata, and the Kia Optima are the top three stolen cars in 2023. The Chevy Silverado 1500 pickup is fourth.

This shift is significant. It shows a rise in car thefts. In the past month, the NICB reported a 1% increase from 2022 to 2023. The organization, supported by the insurance industry, noted 1,020,729 vehicle thefts in 2023.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reported about 278 million registered vehicles in 2022. Trucks made up 171 million of those. Until now, trucks were the most stolen vehicles. But this year, sedans have taken over.

Why car thieves target Hyundai and Kia models 

Hyundai and Kia sedans with key ignitions, not push starts, saw a surge in car thefts. This trend started before the pandemic. Thieves found a way to start these cars without a key. They targeted older models without theft protection.

In 2021, a study found only 26% of 2015 Hyundai and Kia models had theft protection. For other brands, it was 96%. By the 2021 model year, Hyundai and Kia had boosted this to 78%.

During the pandemic, the “Kia Boys” videos went viral. These videos showed kids stealing cars for joy rides that often ended in accidents. Tragically, this led to eight deaths and a $200 million lawsuit settlement in May 2023.

NPR reported that insurers were uneasy about insuring older Hyundai and Kia models.

To tackle this, Hyundai and Kia, part of the Hyundai Motor Group, introduced new security measures. Last February, they offered a free software update at dealerships. This update required the key to start the car. They also provided stickers, loud alarms, and steering wheel locks.

Top 10 Most Stolen Cars in 2023

RankCar ModelNumber Stolen
1Hyundai Elantra48,445
2Hyundai Sonata42,813
3Kia Optima30,204
4Kia Soul21,001
5Kia Forte16,209
6Kia Sportage15,749
7Other Kia & Hyundai Models(not specified)
8Chevrolet Silverado 150023,721
9Honda Accord20,895
10Honda Civic19,858

The NICB reports a record number of vehicle thefts. Criminals now use advanced technology to bypass security. This includes keyless entry hacks and key fob relay attacks. They exploit security weaknesses successfully.

The NICB also highlights a positive. Over 85% of stolen vehicles are recovered. They advise immediate contact with law enforcement and the insurance company upon theft. This increases the chances of recovery.

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