Local Kia Challenge victim denied eligibility in nationwide settlement

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Millions of drivers across the country — and it seems like dozens every week here in Western New York — are falling victim to the Kia Challenge on social media. Now they’re deciding whether they want to be part of a class action lawsuit.

One Buffalo man — who’s been a victim of the challenge — is being told he’s not eligible for any financial compensation.

Dan Greenway is not a big fan of the nationwide settlement that Kia and Hyundai have reached for $145 million. Dan’s had his car broken into twice.

He has a 2022 Kia Sportage. There is video of one of those attempts to steal his car. News 4 first told you about Dan’s story last summer as police were dealing with a huge increase in Kia’s and Hyundai’s being stolen.

Dan’s car insurance has gone up because of the attempted thefts. He went to: KiaTheftSettlement.com, that’s the site to submit a claim using his VIN. He puts his information in, but it comes up that he’s not eligible.

“If they’re giving 6,000 I think is the rough ballpark figure to other people I was just as much victimized as everybody else was and I’m just looking to see if they can compensate for that,” Greenway said, “The fact that Kia is not willing to even look at this I think it’s just not equitable.”

Dan followed up with Kia, which says he’s being denied because his car is a “push start” ignition and that these cars are typically manufactured with an engine immobilizer.

More Calls 4 Action

A class action lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai was filed in California. The lawsuit claims that certain models were not equipped with an engine immobilizer, allowing Kia and Hyundai cars from being stolen more easily. A settlement has been reached in the civil case, paying drivers $145 million. But at this point, Dan won’t see any of that.

Some of the benefits under the settlement include a free software upgrade, a reimbursement for installing an anti-theft system or a financial reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs.

The deadline to file a claim is in January 2025.

Dan hopes that federal lawmakers or perhaps, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration take up this issue.

“If we’re allowing vehicles like this to be sold that are basically an attraction to kids I don’t know if it’s the right way to say it an attractive nuisance is what its become it make you a little paranoid about whether it’s going to happen again,” Dan said.

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Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.

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