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‘Our priority:’ Matthew’s Hyundai of Syracuse to host software upgrade clinic to fix theft vulnerability

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Matthews Hyundai of Syracuse will stop all other services next week to exclusively repair the problem causing the make of vehicle they sell to be easily stolen.

“I don’t care if we sell a single car next week, said dealership general manager Robert Guarente. “This is our priority.”

From Monday, Dec. 11 to Friday, Dec. 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the dealership invites owners of impacted Hyundai vehicles to stop by for the software upgrade. The defect impacts models with key ignitions only, not push-button starts.

No appointments are needed for the free service. The dealership is also giving away free steering wheel-locking clubs and key fabs for people who don’t have one.

The software upgrade, which takes about 30 or 40 minutes, adds an immobilizer to the vehicle. The device requires an appropriate key to control the vehicle, a feature Hyundai and Kia left out of many models over the last decade.

While the crisis was caused by the manufacturers, local dealerships are feeling the impact firsthand. After police, they’re likely the first to hear from the owner of a stolen vehicle and repair any damage.

Proud of their product, the dealership feels the tragedies related to the crime.

General Manager Robert Guarente told NewsChannel 9, “Every employee in this facility somehow, someway is touched by this. That knows somebody that had a car stolen. They’ve read all the headlines. We’ve talked to our customers of many years, great people, who have had something like this happen. It hurts.” 

Lt. Matt Malinowski of the Syracuse Police Department said: “I do think if we get a response, and we make a big impact on these vehicles affected, we could see a pretty significant number in those vehicle larcenies coming down.”

“It is going to be incumbent on the owner to make that step and come down here,” Lt. Malinowski adds. “Making a little effort could go a long way. You don’t want to be the victim of a stolen vehicle. It’s a total inconvenience, and something bad can really happen.”

Something bad already has, and several times.

In September, two teenagers were shot and killed by an Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputy who was investigating the stolen vehicle they were using.

“We care,” said Guarente. “We care about the customers, our future, the future business of Hyundai. We want to fix this problem.”

Event Details

Who: Owners of impacted Hyundai models (see list below)

What: Clinic for a software upgrade to fix the anti-theft defect

When: Monday, Dec. 11 to Friday, Dec. 15, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Matthew’s Hyundai of Syracuse, 2601 Erie Boulevard East

Why: Without software upgrades, impacted vehicles are easily stolen

Impacted Hyundai Models

*Only traditional key ignitions are impacted. Push-button starts are not.

  • 2018-2022 Accent
  • 2011-2022 Elantra
  • 2013-2020 Elantra GT
  • 2013-2014 Genesis Coupe
  • 2018-2022 Kona
  • 2020-2021 Palisade
  • 2013-2022 Santa Fe
  • 2013-2018 Santa Fe Sport
  • 2019 Santa Fe XL
  • 2011-2019 Sonata
  • 2011-2022 Tucson
  • 2012-2017 & 2019-2021 Veloster
  • 2020-2021 Venue

Matthews Hyundai of Syracuse invites people to call with questions: 315-445-7900,

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