Hyundai comes to the St. Louis Metro to install anti-theft software technology

Published: Sep. 7, 2023 at 5:16 PM CDT
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JENNINGS, Mo. (KMOV) - There is a renewed effort to stop a crime trend First Alert 4 has been tracking for more than a year, the thefts of Kias and Hyundais all across the St. Louis area.

Hyundai is partnering with the St. Louis County Police Department and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to offer a fix.

Hyundai will host a two-day, free anti-theft software clinic for residents on Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10 between 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Specially trained mobile service technicians will be on-site to install and complete the software upgrade, which should take 10-15 minutes.

Mobile Clinic for affected owners:

  • Date: September 9-10
  • Hours: 8 a.m. -7 p.m. - No appointment needed.
  • Location: The Urban League (Jennings Location) 8960 Jennings Station Road, St. Louis, MO

If you have a car with a push to start, Hyundai says your anti-theft software is fully up to date.

If you drive a car where you need to put a key in the ignition, then it depends on your make, model and year on whether or not you need to get new software installed.

It’s been more than a year since Caleb Wilson had his Hyundai Sonata stolen.

“I mean it’s a little bit too late at this point,” Wilson says.

Hyundai coming to the Metro to offer free steering wheel locks and the anti-theft software into any impacted cars doesn’t really help him, he said.

Wilson says he is now switching over to Toyota for the foreseeable future.

“You just don’t wanna buy a car associated with theft and that sorta seems to be how people feel or at least how I feel about it right now,” Wilson says.

First Alert 4 asked David Van de Linde with Hyundai why it took so long since this trend started to get results in our community.

“It takes some time to be able to develop a software system,” Van de Linde says. “These vehicles weren’t engineered to have this immobilizer so to go back in and install it, it’s not like an after-market alarm that you can go to an electronic shop and get installed.”

The St. Louis County Police Department says in 2022, 795 Hyundai vehicles were stolen.

So far this year, there have been 422 Hyundai vehicles stolen.

Cpt. Norman Mann says it’s not just the stolen cars, but the crimes committed with those cars after the theft.

“You’ll get four or five individuals in a stolen car and they’ll hit a community and just ravage the community,” Mann says.

Cpt. Mann says he hears a lot of frustration in the community over these thefts and hopes this, along with a larger police presence in neighborhoods, will bring that crime down.

“We are equally frustrated having to deal with the investigations and so forth so hopefully resources like this will put their minds at ease that we are trying to do things and collaborate with organizations to make their lives better,” Cpt. Mann says.

Affected Models:

  • 2018-2022 Accent
  • 2020-2021 Palisade
  • 2011-2022 Tucson
  • 2011-2022 Elantra
  • 2013-2022 Santa Fe
  • 2012-2017 & 2019-2021 Veloster
  • 2013-2020 Elantra GT
  • 2013-2018 Santa Fe Sport
  • 2020-2021 Venue
  • 2013-2014 Genesis Coupe
  • 2019 Santa Fe XL
  • 2018-2022 Kona
  • 2011-2019 Sonata

You can also check your specific car by putting in the VIN number, found on the windshield or inside of the car door, here.

However, it’s not just Hyundai vehicles that are the problem. Kia vehicles are also getting stolen.

First Alert 4 asked Kia if there are any plans to come to the Metro and we were told the company is working with local agencies to do so but nothing official has been set up.