Baron & Budd shareholder Roland Tellis appointed co-lead counsel in class action lawsuit involving Kia and Hyundai defects

The lawsuit alleges that Kia and Hyundai have concealed a security flaw in millions of vehicles that has led to a rise in thefts, potentially affecting millions of vehicles

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, the national law firm Baron & Budd is pleased to announce that shareholder Roland Tellis has been appointed co-lead counsel in a multi-district litigation class action lawsuit against automakers Hyundai and Kia.

In September 2022, Tellis filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that Hyundai and Kia failed to incorporate a common security component called “immobilizer,” which led to an increase in thefts of the affected vehicles. More class action lawsuits followed, and the cases were eventually centralized in the US District Court for the Central District of California.

According to the lawsuit, millions of certain Kia (2011-2021) and Hyundai (2015-2021) vehicles equipped with the traditional socketed key-based ignition system are not equipped with an immobilizer that prevents the vehicle from operating without the vehicle-specific smart key be started. This means car thieves can easily steal the vehicles by opening the steering column and using any metal object, usually a USB, to start the engine. The lawsuit alleges that the defect has become so widely publicized that teenagers are posting videos on social media explaining how to steal the vehicles.

“Not only do many owners of these vehicles have to deal with theft and damage to their vehicles and personal belongings, but many others are now seeing their vehicles depreciate in value and are having to pay more for their insurance just for owning these types of vehicles. I am delighted to be appointed co-lead counsel on this matter and look forward to holding these companies accountable,” said Baron & Budd shareholder Roland Tellis.

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Baron & Budd has represented plaintiffs in some of the most prominent cases. Our attorneys have won consumer protection lawsuits against some of the world’s largest automakers such as Honda, Toyota, Ford, BMW and FCA. Attorneys for Baron & Budd filed the first lawsuit in the Takata airbag recall and represented plaintiffs in the Volkswagen-Audi emissions fraud case.


Baron & Budd, PC is one of the largest and most successful plaintiff law firms in the country. With more than 40 years of experience, Baron & Budd has the expertise and resources to handle complex litigation in the United States. As a law firm that prides itself on staying at the forefront of litigation, Baron & Budd has litigated many significant cases for hundreds of corporations and thousands of individuals. Since the firm’s founding in 1977, Baron & Budd has earned considerable national recognition for its work on cutting-edge litigation, bringing hundreds of cases to judgment and resolving tens of thousands of cases in areas as varied and significant as dangerous and high-grade addictive drug defects medical devices, asbestos and mesothelioma, California wildfires and pollution, fraudulent banking practices, e-cigarettes, automobiles, federal whistleblower cases and other consumer fraud cases.


Baron & Budd, PC

Debra Webb

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