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E70: Joyriding In A Stolen Hyundai

by Sean Boyce

Hyundais and Kias are much easier to steal because they left out a really important feature.

Hyundai and Kia have decided to leave out a key anti-theft device from their vehicles.  As such, there’s now a growing social media trend where people are joying in recently stolen vehicles.

This is a great lesson in what can happen if your product doesn’t include key features that your customer is expecting.

Article – https://fortune.com/2022/09/22/hyundai-kia-cars-stealing-hack-thieves/

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Episode Transcript

Hey, folks, Sean here.

And today what I want to talk to you about

is how to ensure that your product is meeting minimum

expectations with your customers to deliver the right experience.

And this is a story that comes from

a growing social media trend where Kias and

Hyundai vehicles are being stolen and joyrided because

they’re missing a key antitheft device.

The antitheft device that’s missing from Hyundai and

Kias is referred to as an immobilizer.

It’s essentially a chip that matches your

car, is key to your ignition.

If you don’t have it, it makes

your car ridiculously easy to steal.

Now, this is super embarrassing for Honda and Kia,

and one of the most embarrassing elements is that

most immobilizers were rolled out to most passionate vehicles

back in the 1990s, nearly 30 years ago.

And what this means is that Kia and Hyundai

owners were expecting it to be included as well.

Pretty important feature, you might add.

Really changes the experience if you don’t have it.

So, in terms of what the usage and the

inclusion of this feature looks like across other vehicles

and essentially who Hyundai and Kia are competing with,

over 96% of passenger vehicles have this immobilizer installed.

The vast majority of Hyundai and

Kias do not, dramatically changing the

ownership experience, as you might imagine.

So let’s talk about the impact that missing.

This key feature causes owners of these

vehicles and the company as well.

So, from the ownership experience, it’s probably

relatively obvious because this key antitheft device

is not included in these vehicles.

They’re being stolen at nearly twice the rate of

the national average, and it’s all over social media.

So the problem will probably continue to get worse.

Making matters worse, it’s not really an

easy thing to retrofit because they’ve missed

this key feature and include some hardware.

So you’ve got tons of vehicles out on the

road that all need to be fixed and are

all subject to being stolen at the moment.

So the whole thing has just become such a mess.

Now, I’m sure that some part of the

decision was in terms of cost savings, right?

However that’s led to this disaster.

So was it really worth it?

More than likely, no.

And I’m sure if they could take

that decision back now, they would.

But that’s not you don’t really

get credit for that, right.

What you should be doing instead.

And this is me getting around to talking about

what this might mean for you and your product

company and make sure you don’t wind up being

or experiencing some equivalent of this disaster than Honda

and Kia is going through.

Is to ensure that your product essentially has a key

set of features that your customers have come to expect.

Now, what do I mean when I say that?

Well, this is when they’re obviously expecting.

Now, when people are searching whether or not to

purchase a particular vehicle, I’m sure they’re not asking

whether or not the vehicle has an immobilizer included

or antitheft device as specific as that. Right.

They want to make sure that

the car isn’t easy to steal.

That has become an expectation

over the course of decades.

As in, it’s just assumed that it

will be included in most product experiences. Right.

So they would hope that they wouldn’t necessarily need to

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verify that, but apparently you still might because Honda’s and

Kias for the most part don’t include them.

But that should be incorporated in a minimum

set of expectations that your customer is going

to get when they’re using your product.

Because like I shared already, greater

than 96% of vehicles have them.

So if yours doesn’t, that causes a potentially huge

issue for you if and when that impact like

we’re seeing now really starts to come to light.

So if your product is not including minimum set of

features like that, it could ruin the product experience and

it could cause untold amounts of brand and reputation damage

not to even include what it’s going to cost them

from an insurance perspective if there’s legal action and all

this other kind of stuff.

I mean, so what might this look like if you

have, for example, like a B2B SaaS software product?

This is the equivalent of not having

proper authentication, storing passwords and clear text.

Any of these things that can cause

you significant liability if they come to

light or you ultimately get exposed. Right.

There’s a minimum set of expectations for the type of

experience you need to create for your users and your

customers and it’s something that they’ve come to expect.

If you’re not meeting those minimum expectations,

it could be glaringly obvious that they’re

not going to be interested in doing

business with you or purchasing your product.

That’s one problem that comes out of this.

Or if it ultimately comes to light that whatever it

is that you’ve left out of that experience ultimately has

caused major issues for customers and other users, then that

brand and reputation damage is potentially going to affect who

purchases your products in the future.

Like for example, here, which is a question I have for

you is would this issue with Hyundai and Kia prevent you

from purchasing one of their cars in the future?

I know it would affect my buying decision because and

immediately where my mind goes if they’ve left something like

this out to try to cut costs is what else

are they leaving out of the equation?

Do I have all my airbags?

Is the structural integrity of this

vehicle like sound and Safe?

I have other concerns if they’re going

to leave out something so glaringly obvious.

So the lesson here is to make sure that

your product includes a minimum set of features to

meet expectations for your users and your customers.

Especially if those features are something that are

very important to your users and customers and

it’s something they’re going to use rather frequently.

Plus if it’s offered by all of your competitors,

but you are missing it in your product, that’s

going to cause a lot of trouble for you.

That could turn into a disaster that

it’s been for Honda and Kia.

But more than that, is it’s

ultimately going to potentially prevent them

from purchasing or using your product?

Because you don’t have those key features.

So you don’t want the brand reputation, you

don’t want to incur anything anywhere near what

Hyundai and Kia are going through.

That risk is just too high.

So you need to ensure what those minimum expectations are

so that you can meet them in your product experience

and then you can build on them from there.

Thanks for watching and I hope you got value out of it.

If you did, please consider liking this video and

subscribing to the channel so you can be notified

when more content like this becomes available.

And please in the comment section below.

I’d love to hear from you in terms of whether

or not Kia and Hyundai leaving out this key feature would

impact your decision whether or not to buy these vehicles 

in the Future.