Seattle family says their Kia was still stolen despite attempt to get latest upgrades

A Seattle family is now left footing the bill after their Kia was stolen in King County.

It was found totaled a day later and now they’re getting no help from insurance.

Yolanda Galery and Antwon Vinson found their 2016 Kia Soul damaged both inside and out last week. They feel like they’re now the ones at fault, in a situation that was out of their hands.

“We got one, two, three broken windows,” Galery explained. “And this is where they crashed into something and I have no idea what they hit.”

Galery told KIRO 7 she did everything she could to protect it. She tried to get the software upgrade but was told her make and model didn’t qualify.

Kia responded to KIRO 7 in a statement saying in part:

“We also continue to provide steering wheel locks to owners of impacted vehicles that are not eligible for the software upgrade at no cost to them. These free steering wheel locks further enhance a vehicle’s security and can serve as a theft-deterrent for potential car thieves. Kia customers can obtain free, Kia-provided locks through their local law enforcement or they can request a steering wheel lock from Kia directly through our dedicated website. To date, we have distributed more than 340,000 locks and we will continue to provide them as needed.”

However, Galery’s car was still stolen with the wheel lock!

“The club was hooked on here and they just cut it right there and slid it right off,” she described.

For cases like this, Kia responded to KIRO 7:

“We also recently developed and introduced a new hardware modification that is designed for the vehicles that are not eligible for the software upgrade that works to combat theft by reinforcing the ignition cylinder body and preventing its removal through the method of theft promoted in videos that have spread across social media encouraging criminal activity.”

It’s not just the physical damage to the car impacting Galery and her husband.

“He’s missing those peers and teachers and having that routine and structured learning,” she explained.

They have 2 sons, a teenager and a 4-year-old with special needs. Their youngest was diagnosed with autism at just 2 years old. With their car gone, they’re also losing the ability to get him the help he needs.

“Things you don’t understand the consequences you’re bringing not just upon you getting caught, but the people you’re doing it to, the family you’re doing it to,” Vinson said.

On top of that, they’re now dealing with all of it on their own since insurance, National General Insurance, won’t cover their losses as they are only covered with liability insurance.

The family set up a GoFundMe to help them recover from the incident.

KIRO 7 also reached out to State Farm, one of the major providers in the auto insurance industry, about the effects of such rampant thefts in all parts of the country.

State Farm sent a statement saying in part:

State Farm has stopped accepting new customer applications in some states for certain model years and trim levels of Hyundai and Kia vehicles because theft losses for these vehicles have increased dramatically. This is a serious problem impacting our customers and the entire auto insurance industry.