SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Corp. said Friday they have agreed to a US$200 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed by U.S. consumers over a series of car thefts of their vehicles.
The consumer settlement covers U.S. owners of about 9 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles with a traditional "insert-and-turn" mechanical key ignition system, not a push-button to start the car.
Hyundai and Kia will compensate customers who suffered theft-related vehicle losses or damage not covered by insurance, in addition to reimbursement for increased insurance premiums and other theft-related losses, the companies said in a joint statement.
"We are committed to continuing software upgrade installations and steering wheel lock distribution to help prevent thefts and offering insurance options through AAA for those who have had difficulty securing and sustaining coverage," Jason Erb, chief legal officer at Hyundai Motor America, said in the statement, referring to the American Automobile Association.
For customers whose vehicles cannot accommodate the software upgrade, the companies will provide up to $300 for the purchase of steering wheel locks and other anti-theft devices, the statement said.
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