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Why are so many cars being stolen?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2023 | Theft Crimes

There has recently been an uptick in car theft in the United States. Many of the vehicles being stolen are Kias and Hyundais. It has become something of a phenomenon online, and that is certainly one reason why this particular theft has become more popular.

But the key to the trend is the fact that a number of vehicles from these automakers do not have passive immobilizers. These are devices that prevent a car from being started, typically utilizing matching computer chips. A vehicle with this type of system in place is vastly harder to steal for someone without the chip in their possession. 

As a result, for the last decade or so, most automakers have been adding these passive immobilizers to their vehicles. They are not technically required by law, however, so Hyundai did not do so for the vehicles they built between 2016 and 2021. Kia did not do so for the vehicles they built between 2011 and 2021. Many of the recent thefts focused on these vehicles once this lack of a passive immobilizer came to light.

What are the ramifications of grand theft auto?

In California, auto theft is known as a wobbler offense. This is simply because it can sometimes be a felony and it can sometimes be a misdemeanor. On average, those who are arrested could face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. But a big part of it depends on whether or not the court determines that this is a misdemeanor or felony.

As such, it’s quite important for those who have been accused of car theft to know about all of the legal defense options they have at this time.