INDUSTRY INSIDER | July 11, 2024

Hyundai and Kia Top U.S. Auto Theft Rankings

Original Source: AutoBlog

Hyundai took the first two spots on the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) list of the most stolen vehicles in 2023, and Kia is in third place. While pickups have historically been the most stolen vehicles, a social media trend propelled the South Korean group to the podium.

Videos showing how to steal certain Hyundai and Kia models with little more than a USB charging cable began appearing on social media platforms, including TikTok, in 2022. The rise in thefts caused a five-alarm panic across the nation: Some insurance companies began refusing to insure Hyundai and Kia models, several states urged the carmaker to issue a recall, the two brands paid $200 million to settle a class-action suit, and they were sued by half a dozen major American cities several months after gradually rolling out a software-based fix.

The saga allowed Hyundai and Kia models to knock full-size pickups from the top of the most-stolen list.

The most stolen cars of 2023

  1. Hyundai Elantra (48,445 thefts in 2023)
  2. Hyundai Sonata (42,813 thefts in 2023)
  3. Kia Optima (30,204 thefts in 2023)
  4. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (23,721 thefts in 2023)
  5. Kia Soul (21,001 thefts in 2023)
  6. Honda Accord (20,895 thefts in 2023)
  7. Honda Civic (19,858 thefts in 2023)
  8. Kia Forte (16,209 thefts in 2023)
  9. Ford F-150 (15,852 thefts in 2023)
  10. Kia Sportage (15,749 thefts in 2023)

As the number of Hyundai and Kia models reported stolen increased significantly in 2023, the number of stolen pickups dropped significanty. For context, the NICB reports that 2022’s most-stolen vehicle was the Chevrolet Silverado, with 49,903 reported thefts. Second place went to the Ford F-Series (48,175 thefts with no model breakdown) and the Honda Civic took third (27,113). The Sonata and Elantra finished fifth and sixth, respectively, with 21,707 and 19,602 thefts, while the Optima landed in seventh place with 18,221 thefts.

NICB research indicates that 1,020,729 vehicles were reported stolen in 2023, an increase of one percent compared to 2022. The agency adds that over 85% of vehicles reported stolen were recovered, and that 34% were recovered within a day of being reported stolen.