Who’s accountable for car thefts: criminals or car makers? Americans are split
Motor vehicle thefts in Chicago and Washington, D.C., are up 100% this year compared to last. Americans say criminals need to be held responsible for their actions.
ARLINGTON, Va. – Car thefts in Washington, D.C., and Chicago are soaring, leading the Windy City’s mayor to accuse two auto manufacturers of having insufficient anti-theft systems, but Americans who spoke to Fox News said criminals should also be prosecuted.
“Definitely go after the criminals. I mean, the criminals are doing the crime,” Bud, a Virginia resident, said. The Chicago mayor’s office wants “to push things off and not take the blame for themselves, for their crappy politics and policies.”
“It’s kind of just like they want to go after the gun manufacturers for shootings,” he continued. “It’s just because they wanted a scapegoat.”
Crystal, a D.C. resident, disagreed: “I think the car manufacturers can make the cars a little bit more complicated to steal.”
CRIMINALS AND MANUFACTURERS MUST BE PROSECUTED TO CUT CAR CRIMES, AMERICANS SAY:
WATCH MORE FOX NEWS DIGITAL ORIGINALS HERE
Hyundai and Kia have failed to include “industry-standard” anti-theft technologies, which has led to a “steep rise” in thefts, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, a Democrat, alleged in a lawsuit filed last week against the car companies. He accused the carmakers of “sheer negligence.”
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson blamed Hyundai and Kia for a citywide “crime spree around automobile theft.” (Chicago Police Department)
CHICAGO MAYOR OBJECTS TO REPORTER USING THE TERM ‘MOB’ TO DESCRIBE DOZENS OF LOOTERS: ‘THAT’S NOT APPROPRIATE’
More than half of all vehicles stolen in Chicago this year have been Kia or Hyundai vehicles, according to the mayor’s office. Videos exposing the security flaws of the vehicle’s anti-theft systems have circulated on social media sites since 2021.
“If they just put a little bit more effort into making things a little bit more tougher, it wouldn’t be that many crimes out here,” Crystal said. “They wouldn’t try as much if it wasn’t so easy to get into.”
To “get to the root of the problem,” prosecutors should be “going after the manufacturers,” Zara told Fox News.
Kia and Hyundai offered anti-theft software updates for the affected cars in February, but few vehicles had received the update as of May, according to the Associated Press. In May, Kia and Hyundai reached a $200 million consumer class-action lawsuit settlement, however, the lawsuit was rejected by a federal judge earlier this month.
“Lawsuits filed by municipalities against Kia are without merit,” James Bell, Kia’s head of corporate communications, said in a statement to Fox News. A spokesperson for Hyundai said in a statement to FOX Business that more anti-theft technologies are now standard on all vehicles made by the company as of November 2021.
Kia models sold between 2011 and 2022 lack sufficient anti-theft technology, the Chicago mayor’s office alleges. (Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Motor vehicle thefts for the week of Aug. 21 doubled year-over-year, Chicago police data show. In D.C., they’ve similarly more than doubled compared to the first eight months of 2022, according to local police.
“Prosecute the criminals,” Jerron told Fox News. “The car manufacturers, I mean, they’re doing what they can.”
UBER DRIVER FROM IRAQ SURVIVES SUV SPRAYED WITH BULLETS IN DC, SAYS CITY IS LIKE A WAR ZONE: ‘GOD SAVED ME’
Joanna, agreed: “We have to go after the criminals.”
“People work too hard to get what they have for people to steal them and break into them,” she continued.
The Metropolitan Police Departments’ Carjacking Task Force arrested a 17-year-old boy and three teenage girls aged in April. (Tom Williams via Getty Images)
A 16-year-old was arrested this week by D.C. police and was accused of committing three armed carjackings in a two-hour period. Similarly, D.C. police also arrested a 12-year-old last week on armed carjacking charges.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP
“It is not the car that you should be concerned about,” Natalie, a Lafayette, Louisiana, resident, told Fox News. “It’s the people that are leading our country, our nation, the mayors and everything.”
“If we put more of the things in place for these youth that are stealing the cars, then we will have less crime,” she continued.
Click here to watch Americans respond to whether prosecuting criminals or carmakers can reduce crime.
Hyundai did not return a request for comment.
Ramiro Vargas contributed to the accompanying video.
Jon Michael Raasch is an associate producer/writer with Fox News Digital Originals.