Over 800 Kias stolen in Colorado this year; Kia offering free safety upgrade

BROOMFIELD, Colo. (KDVR) — Many Kia vehicles have been stolen in Colorado in the last few years, with several Kia models showing up on the list of the 10 most stolen car models in the state last year.

Kia dealerships are now hitting the brakes to prevent more cars from being stolen.

“There’s an open recall on some of these Kias,” said William Kitts, a field technical specialist at Kia America.

Many Kia vehicles made before 2022 lack an immobilizer, which prevents an engine from starting if the correct key is not there.

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On May 9, FOX31 reported that a stolen Kia was used to break into a Commerce City marijuana shop.

It’s just one of thousands of cases.

According to the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority, approximately 5,200 Kias were stolen in 2022.

In 2023, 3,730 Kias were stolen, and 854 were stolen in just the first four months of 2024. It’s the reason the automaker rolled out a solution to dealerships nationwide early last year.

“It’s an anti-theft software it makes them harder to steal so we’ve been out here to make it convenient for customers to come and get it done,” said Kitts.

Kia owners are able to meet with specially trained technicians to install the upgrade at no cost to car owners. It takes about 30 minutes to complete.

“Depending on the year, make, and model you’re going to see customers get a steering wheel lock like the old ones that catch the lock on the steering wheel,” said Kitts. “Then we have an ignition lock upgrade and software upgrade.”

James Bell, a spokesperson for Kia America, told FOX31 that nearly 1.1 million Kias have already been upgraded to crack down on car thefts.

The upgrades are not necessary for Kias with push-to-start buttons because all of those vehicles have immobilizers installed as a default.

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Once the software upgrade is finished Kia technicians apply window decal updates to discourage future criminal activity.

Kitts said, “It’s going to generally make the car harder to steal. No car is theft-proof.”

People can schedule an appointment with a Kia dealership to get the free upgrade.

You can click here to find out if your car qualifies for the free anti-theft software.

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