Northeast Ohio residents express dissatisfaction with Kia’s anti-theft software amid car theft incidents

Some Kia owners in Northeast Ohio assert that the latest anti-theft software update is ineffective, and their pilfered vehicles serve as evidence.

Brenda LaRue, the mother of Willoughby, claimed that last month her son took a ride in her car and went to get some pizza at the Rascal House on Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland.

She claimed that after he left the restaurant after less than ten minutes, his mother’s 2021 Kia Sportage was gone.

“It was not supposed to happen that my car could be stolen with a USB port,” LaRue said. “My heart was just broken.“Kia was meant to fix this to prevent this from happening.”

In March 2023, LaRue had anti-theft software installed in her vehicle. She thought she could finally unwind at first.

“I was informed that it would only read the key alone, so I settled in. On March 18th, my life really changed,” LaRue said.

In Garfield Heights, ten days later, Cleveland police discovered her pilfered Kia.

“I felt like I had been lied to, and I was very, very angry at this point because the USB port was still in the ignition and that showed that they could actually take these cars using a USB,” the mother stated. “I went back to the dealership after learning that my car had been stolen, and they told me it couldn’t be possible. I then showed them that I had both keys and that the car had no more keys in it, and they still said it couldn’t be possible. I have images and documentation proving it was finished even after the automobile was retrieved. They refused to accept any kind of accountability even now.

By using LaRue’s VIN number and her consent, 19 News was able to verify that she had the software updates loaded on her Kia website.

When LaRue returned with her car, it was totaled. She’s currently attempting to save up money for a down payment on a new vehicle—it won’t be a Kia.

“I no longer trust Kia,” she said.

After their 2020 Kia Sportage, which was also fitted with antitheft software, was taken last week for the third time and involved in a police pursuit that resulted in an accident that injured two innocent people, a Cleveland couple has also given up on Kia.

After his Kia was taken, Edward Loukas declared, “I will never buy a Kia again.” “If they give me one, I don’t care. I refuse to accept it.

After 19 News contacted Kia, a representative informed us that since February 2023, the company had improved almost one million vehicles. They assert that following the modifications, they are only aware of four or five theft attempts.

In 99.9% of the situations, Kia says the software change has been a huge success.

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