Progressive Insurance won't insure easily-stolen Kia and Hyundai cars in Colorado

Originally published at: Progressive Insurance won't insure easily-stolen Kia and Hyundai cars in Colorado | Boing Boing

5 Likes

Wow, I’m not sure how to set the wayback machine a month into the future like that, but I’d sure be interested to learn how you did it!

14 Likes

Oops, good catch. Wake me up when September ends?

9 Likes

What is this vulnerability in these cars that is apparently so unprecedented? Is there a way to find out without subjecting oneself to TikTok or whatever?

12 Likes

It’s old school hotwiring, but instead of striking wires across the ignition lock cylinder in the steering column, the thief pulls out the ignition lock module and uses a USB-A rectangular plug to turn the ignition. Here’s a “Kia Boy” explaining how it works without doing it:

12 Likes

The linked article states that they lack an immobilizer that comes with most cars and can be stolen with a USB cord.

Edit: Ah, Shichae beat me to it.

7 Likes

So the USB is immaterial, it just needs something conductive to complete the circuit?

4 Likes

The USB-A rectangular plug fits the portion the lock cylinder module would normally fit into, and acts like a key to turn the ignition. A large enough flat head screwdriver would probably work too.

11 Likes

This is only news because of the relatively large group of cars Progressive doesn’t want to insure.

It’s no secret that insurance companies like Progressive have low rates because they actively manage their risk exposure. Removing risk from the pool of insured vehicles is how they offer lower rates.

If you are a driver with recent infractions on your record or you own a car that is at a higher risk of being damaged, stolen, or is expensive to repair, they will do one of two things. They will either refuse to insure the driver or car, or they will offer an extremely high policy quote so you go elsewhere.

8 Likes

It’s things like this that make me want to buy a car that is very unlikely to be stolen, if only because the process to start it and drive it is completely alien to modern cars- a Model A. Or a Model T. (No skool like old skool, right? :smiley: )

3 Likes

Perhaps, up to a (very limited) point, this was some sort of ‘public service’ documentary footage. But the “thanks for giving us a show”, during which illegal and dangerous driving went on which could easily have injured or killed an innocent passer by, gave the game away - it’s sensationalism for the clicks.

Not much of a wonderful thing.

3 Likes

If you want to pretend to be a car thief you can attach your key to a screwdriver handle.

No problems I can foresee, a harmless prank that will bring a great deal of harm.

4 Likes

Or any recent model car with a stick shift.

5 Likes

I got jumped last week by some kids who were joyriding in a Kia Sportage. I don’t blame the times for doing this stuff when there’s not much else to do to be honest. But the fact that car companies keep shoving ICs into everything in a car without a second thought it makes me glad I got an older car right now.

4 Likes

The only thing they’re using USB for is they’re popping out the ignition locks and using any random USB stick as a screwdriver to turn the switch.

It’s the lack of a particular IC that’s causing the problem with these cars. If they had an immobilizer, they’d be resistant to this type of theft, and Progressive would insure them.

3 Likes

Yes, and USBs are convenient theft tools, because they’re found in many cars nowadays for phone charging.

2 Likes

There is this highly-effective theft prevention device:

9 Likes

It’s so hard to find a vehicle with a standard transmission nowadays!
I learned on a stick and, except for one bargain passed through the family, always drove stick shifts, until the current one.
Maybe it’s because I limit myself to buying used, but it’s been nigh impossible to find.
I also hate all the “infotainment” interfaces in the current cars, but that’s a different thing.
Now get offa my lawn!
:wink:

6 Likes

The Office Yes GIF

3 Likes
6 Likes