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Kia, Hyundai Surge to Top Spots on Most Stolen List

by | May 10, 2024

The impact of the Kia Boyz can be measured in many ways, but the latest method to determine their impact is the simplest: Kia and Hyundai vehicles were the most stolen cars in the U.S. in 2023. They supplanted full-size pickups as the leaders, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s latest report.2023 Year End_Vehicle Type Theft Top 5

The Hyundai Elantra and Sonata took the top two spots while the Kia Optima and Soul were ranked third and fifth on the most stolen list. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 occupied the fourth spot. The Kia Forte and Sportage were No. 8 and No. 10 on the list.

The rest of the top 10 comprised the Honda Accord (6), Honda Civic (7) and Ford F-150 (9).

“These rankings highlight the persistent threat of vehicle theft across the country,” said NICB President and CEO David J. Glawe.

“NICB works with law enforcement agencies and industry partners to deploy advanced technologies and strategies to combat vehicle theft from organized criminal networks and individuals. Even as we work to deter crime, it is crucial for owners to remain vigilant and take proactive measures to protect their vehicles.”

2023 Year End 2023 Key Takeaways

Rise to the top

A few years ago a group of young men dubbed the Kia Boys were stealing Kias and Hyundais at an alarming rate. Not only that, they were recording the thefts — and subsequent chases afterward sometimes — and posting them on YouTube.

Additionally, they were showing how easy it was to steal those brands using only a USB plug. The USB plug was used in place of a vehicle’s key. The problems was so pervasive — thousands of cars were stolen — a documentary was made about the gang.

The result was a class-action lawsuit against the two companies as well as a redesign by Kia and Hyundai to make it more difficult to steal the vehicles.

More Kia and Hyundai Stories

Theft on the riseNICB top 10 states theft

Last year, car thieves set a new record by stealing 1,020,729 vehicles across the U.S., which is a 1% increase over the previous year’s number. The numbers have risen steadily since 2019.

California accounted for the highest number of vehicle thefts nationwide in 2023 with 208,668 vehicles reported stolen. The District of Columbia had the highest theft rate across the nation last year with 1,149.71 thefts per 100,000 people, which is more than three times the national theft rate.

The District of Columbia and Maryland each saw a drastic rise in thefts in 2023, with theft percentage increases of 64% and 63%, respectively.

The silver lining in the numbers is that more than 85% of passenger vehicles reported stolen were subsequently recovered by law enforcement or other means, with 34% recovered within a day of the vehicle being reported stolen.


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