BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer joined the Buffalo Police Department and two victims of recent Kia thefts to call on Kia and Hyundai to address safety concerns.

“It’s beyond a challenge," said Joseph Gramaglia, BPD commissioner. "We can’t keep up. We just can’t do it. You know, you get into processing a car, we don’t have the resources to process every car. But you’re also dealing, again, with young people who, their DNA or prints are not going to be in the system.”

Gramaglia said there has been a 2000% increase in stolen Kia and Hyundais compared to this time last year.

Schumer is now calling on Kia and Hyundai to offer an immediate fix to all vehicles affected for free. He is also calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open an investigation in the defect.

Spectrum News 1 reached out to Kia for a response to Schumer's announcement. In a previous statement from Jan. 31, 2023:

"Kia remains concerned that criminal actors are targeting certain Kia cars with a steel key and “turn-tostart” ignition systems. While no car can be made completely theft-proof, Kia continues to make steering wheel locks available to customers through interested local law enforcement agencies, subject to available supply, at no cost to concerned owners of these vehicles. Kia also continues its efforts to develop additional solutions for vehicles not originally equipped with an immobilizer, including the development and testing of enhanced security software designed to restrict operation of the vehicle’s ignition system. Kia has started notifying owners of certain models of the availability of this software upgrade at no cost, and Kia anticipates that it will make software upgrades available for most affected vehicles over the next few months. All 2022 models and trims have an immobilizer applied either at the beginning of the year or as a running change, and all Kia vehicles meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Kia customers with questions regarding their Kia vehicle should contact the Kia Consumer Assistance Center directly at 1-800-333-4542 (Kia).”