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MARTA partners with Kia, Hyundai to prevent car thefts at rail stations

Kia and Hyundai will provide steering-wheel locks for drivers who park certain car models at MARTA rail stations.
Photo – Shutterstock


The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority this week announced a new effort to provide steering wheel locks to riders driving Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

MARTA police officers have distributed the locks free of charge to MARTA riders who drive a Kia or Hyundai with model years from 2011 to 2022. The locks are used to prevent theft while the cars are parked at rail stations, MARTA officials said in a press release. The two car manufacturers will provide a total of 640 locks.

Seventeen incidents involving Kia and Hyundai vehicles at MARTA stations have been reported so far this year , agency officials said. Other Atlanta area law enforcement agencies have launched similar steering wheel lock programs.

A spike in Kia and Hyundai car thefts has been reported nationwide because vehicles with those model years lack an engine immobilizer, which prevents a car from starting if it doesn't receive an electronic signal from the key in the ignition. The absence of that security feature makes theft of Kia and Hyundai cars without the key much easier, NPR reported recently on the trend.

The car companies recently agreed to a $200 million class-action lawsuit settlement involving the thefts. The settlement covers 9 million vehicle owners who have a traditional insert-and-turn steel key ignition system, NPR reported.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/26/2023