November 4, 2021 – Barton Cerjak S.C. Files The Amended Complaint.
After the lawsuit was removed from the Milwaukee County Circuit Court to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Barton Cerjak filed an Amended Complaint to include additional class representatives, assert additional claims, and explain the defect and the proliferation of the car theft epidemic in Milwaukee in further detail. Like the original Complaint, the Amended Complaint was filed under seal and a redacted version was made publicly available on July 8, 2022. A copy of the redacted Amended Complaint is available under the “Documents” tab below.
December 2021–March 2022 – The Parties Brief Defendants’ Motions To Dismiss
On December 22, 2021, Kia and Hyundai filed a Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim. HATCI filed a separate Motion to Dismiss the same day. Barton Cerjak filed a brief opposing the Defendants’ Motions on February 28, 2022, and the Defendants’ filed a reply brief in support of their Motions on March 25, 2022. Copies of Defendants’ briefs in support of their Motions, Barton Cerjak’s opposition brief, and Defendants’ reply are available under the “Documents” tab below.
August 31, 2022 – A Motion To Transfer And Consolidate All Cases Against Kia and Hyundai Regarding The Auto Thefts Is Filed
Over the summer of 2022, viral videos were posted on social media platforms such as YouTube, TikTok and Instagram, documenting the ease with which Kias and Hyundais can be stolen. Some videos provide step-by-step instructions on how to steal a Kia or Hyundai vehicle in what became known as the “Kia Challenge,” in which viewers are dared to steal a vehicle themselves. These videos led to profound increases in thefts of Kias and Hyundais across the country, with many cities experiencing auto theft epidemics similar to the one that had already engulfed Milwaukee for well-over a year.
This increase in auto thefts across the United States prompted other law firms to follow Barton Cerjak’s lead and file additional class actions against Kia and Hyundai for the making their vehicles easy to steal. On August 31, 2022, one of these firms filed a Motion to Transfer and Consolidate all the cases into one action with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (the “JPML”).
The JPML is a judicial body that deals with situations where, as here, multiple lawsuits are filed across the country regarding the same problem, by transferring and consolidating the lawsuits into one action. The JPML makes these determinations to conserve judicial resources, so that one court can address the common issues underlying the various actions across the country in a single proceeding.
December 13, 2022 – The JPML Transfers The Actions To California
The JPML issued an order transferring the lawsuits against Kia and Hyundai, including Barton Cerjak’s action in Wisconsin, to the United States District Court for the Central District of California, the federal court where the American arms of Kia and Hyundai are located. The consolidated action is styled as In re: Kia Hyundai Theft Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, and is proceeding before the Honorable James V. Selna. A copy of the JPML’s transfer order is available under the “Documents” tab below.
February 14, 2023 – Kia And Hyundai Offer Anti-Theft Software Upgrades
To mitigate the ongoing auto thefts across the country, Kia and Hyundai announced that they are offering free software upgrades for any vehicle lacking the anti-theft technology needed to prevent it from being stolen. Please contact your local Kia or Hyundai dealership to schedule an appointment to have the upgrade installed in your vehicle.
 Although Defendants’ Motions have been fully briefed, the Eastern District of Wisconsin did not have the opportunity to rule on them before the auto theft epidemic spread across the country, other actions were filed against Kia and Hyundai, and the cases were transferred and consolidated to a federal court in California, as discussed further below.