BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The nightmare continues for owners of older model Hyundai and Kias. Hundreds have been stolen this year, but there is help available.
“When I walked out my car wasn’t there anymore,” said Cecilia Alvarez about her 2017 Hyundai Elantra.
This is a reality for many residents in Bakersfield who own a Kia or Hyundai car. Both cars continue to be a target as they can be very easy to steal.
Alvarez is still in shock after her Hyundai was stolen on Monday and found two days later completely wrecked.
“They went to go get snacks, they threw their snacks in the car, their lollipop they just left it on the seat. It’s just… How can you be so cruel? Genuinely, how can you be so cruel?” Alvarez said.
The Bakersfield Police Department has been following the thefts in Bakersfield.
“So far to date, like, through September, we’ve had about 216 reported Kia thefts, and 315 Hyundai thefts,” said Sgt. Andrew Tipton with Bakersfield Police Department.
The thefts reported by the Bakersfield Police Department do not count the thefts outside the city limits or in other cities in the county.
Statewide 4,935 Kias and 6,218 Hyundais were reported stolen in 2022. Owners are urged to contact their local dealership for a recall, these are the specific models that qualify for the software update.
“The recall is supposed to change the alarm time frame, like the software of the vehicle from 30 seconds to a minute, and then it requires that the key be present in the ignition to start it. Whereas the key part wasn’t a requirement before,” said Tipton.
“It’s horrible, if anyone has a Hyundai or a Kia, make sure you take the precautions,” said Alvarez.