Millions of Hyundai and Kia automobiles have flaws that have been exposed by popular TikTok videos, which has resulted in numerous thefts. A few models were offered for sale without essential anti-theft software. Because of this, robbers may easily steal the autos without a key. Finally, a software update to aid in preventing car thefts is being released.
For more information on this alarming vulnerability and how to update your car if you own one of the susceptible models, continue reading.
TikTok videos lead to auto thefts
Throughout the years, popular Tik Tok videos have generated a lot of issues. Who could forget the absurd chicken NyQuil challenge? If you need a reminder, tap or click here. Yet it’s uncommon to observe a pattern that led to the theft of hundreds of automobiles.
In reality, this is what is taking place. TikTok users are imitating the techniques used by thieves known as “the Kia Boys” to get past Hyundai and Kia security systems in a craze known as the “Kia Challenge.” Simple methods, like as utilising a USB cord, may be used to break into the autos.
The questioned vehicles? Hyundai vehicles made after 2015 and Kia vehicles produced after 2011. Cars produced in 2022 and later ought to be okay. The issue is that the affected vehicles lack emergency engine immobilisers, which would stop thieves from starting the engines without a key.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the widespread expansion of the viral practise has led to at least 14 confirmed wrecks and eight fatalities in addition to auto thefts.
Hyundai and Kia releasing an anti-theft software patch
The good news is that Hyundai and Kia have created theft deterrent software and will offer it free of charge to owners of the millions of their vehicles lacking an immobiliser.
The software changes the theft alarm software logic to increase the length of the alarm sound from 30 seconds to one minute and mandate that the key be in the ignition switch in order to turn the car on, according to the NHTSA.
Also, Hyundai will provide buyers a window label warning potential thieves that the car has anti-theft features. Beginning later this month, Hyundai will roll out the software upgrades and distribute the stickers in stages over the following few months.
You may learn if your car is affected and where the closest dealer is by visiting a special webpage that Hyundai has developed.