A viral challenge across TikTok and YouTube has led to a spike in thefts of Kia and Hyundai models throughout the U.S. The "Kia Challenge" shows social media users how to steal certain Kia and Hyundai models with a few basic items. In an effort to keep your community safe and informed, we've add several vehicle theft shareable graphics that you can share on Neighbors.
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Do you own a KIA or HYUNDAI?
Automakers, Hyundai & Kia, have just announced a software upgrade available for 8.3 million U.S. vehicles to help prevent the vehicles from starting during a method of theft popularized on TikTok and other social media platforms. The free upgrade will be offered for 3.8 million Hyundai and 4.5 million Kia vehicles in the United States. For Hyundai, the upgrade will be available beginning February 14th to more than 1 million model year 2017-2020 Elantra, 2015-2019 Sonata and 2020-2021 Venue vehicles. The software upgrade is scheduled to be available for the remaining eligible affected vehicles by June 2023.
Click the links below for additional information:
Protect Your Ride
There are numerous anti-theft systems and devices designed to make vehicles more difficult to steal or easier to trace and recover. Here are how some of them work:
- Audible and Visible Devices: These devices, such as a horn alarm, deter theft by bringing attention to an unauthorized attempt to steal or enter a vehicle. Visible devices create a visual threat/warning/deterrence, such as the use of steering-wheel locks, as well as theft-deterrent decals, flashing lights, and window etching.
- Immobilizing-Type Devices: These prevent thieves from bypassing a vehicle’s ignition system and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some incorporate computer chips in ignition keys or disable the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine.
- Vehicle Recovery Systems: These devices use electronic transmission technology that help law enforcement reveal the location of stolen vehicles—and possibly catch the thief in the act.
Your Vehicle May be Targeted!
The [Agency Name] is warning owners who drive a 2015 to 2021 Hyundai or a 2011 to 2021 Kia, you may be targeted by car thieves. Due to a design flaw in these vehicles, a regular USB cable can be used to turn the ignition tumbler, start the vehicle, and release the steering lock. In turn, this allows the Hyundai or Kia to be driven away and started again at any time using the same cable. The thieves specifically target certain vehicles with a physical key slot as push-button start models can't be bypassed as easily.
What you can do to help prevent becoming a victim:
- Park in a secured garage whenever possible
- Apply a physical steering wheel lock bar
- Apply a physical wheel boot
- Block in the targeted vehicle with a non-susceptible make vehicle
Source: Riverdale Police Department
[Agency Name] is advising car owners to purchase a wheel lock to prevent someone from stealing their vehicle, and contact their local Kia or Hyundai dealership to find out what options may be available for specific makes/models. We also recommend parking your vehicle inside your garage if you have one.
Source: Henrico County Police Department
Help Prevent Auto Theft
"Use caution when parking and exiting your vehicle:
- Take your vehicle's key; do not leave it in or on your vehicle.
- Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.
- Park in well-lit areas if possible.
- Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially if they can be seen from outside the vehicle.
Four Layers of Vehicle Protection
To prevent yourself from becoming the next victim, the National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends you follow these four layers of protection:
- Vehicle owners should always remove ignition keys or fobs from the vehicle, lock doors and windows, and park in well-lit areas.
- Utilize your vehicle’s anti-theft features. Whether factory installed or after-market there are a number of devices designed to lessen the risk of having your vehicle stolen.
- Many modern vehicles come factory equipped with an immobilizer - an electronic system designed designed to detect that a proper key is being used to start your vehicle. If the system doesn’t detect the properly coded key, it prevents the vehicle from starting.
- Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner, and the vehicle can be tracked through a computer or cell phone.
The more layers of protection on your vehicle, the more difficult it will be to steal.