Kia, Hyundai theft craze triggers trouble

The legal blowback from the crime wave is escalating.

More class-action lawsuits are forthcoming, said Kevin Stanley, an attorney with Humphrey, Farrington & McClain in Independence, Mo., the law firm that filed 13 of the 15 — in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio and Texas, just since June.

Kenneth McClain, a partner at HFM and lead attorney on the class actions, told Automotive News the issue has grown so fast that it deserves national treatment.

“The rapidity at which this issue has both spread as a phenomenon in terms of the cars being stolen, and the number of cases which have come to our attention, and that we filed in a relatively short order demonstrates the nationwide problem of a large scale that needs a solution,” McClain said.

That’s because class actions relegated to specific states do not give every affected Hyundai and Kia customer the opportunity to join the class, said Jonathan Michaels, principal attorney for MLG Automotive Law of Orange County, Calif., which also has filed a suit in the matter.

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