Hyundai, Kia Assume They’ve Foiled the TikTok Theft Problem


  • Hundreds of thousands of Hyundai and Kia autos might be simply stolen—and hundreds have—on account of a choice to not set up engine immobilizers after they had been constructed.
  • Well-liked TikTok movies challenged individuals to attempt to steal a automobile like this, which has led to all types of authorized and monetary bother for automobile homeowners and the 2 automakers.
  • 4 million Hyundai autos—affected Elantras, Sonatas, and Venues—can get a brand new software program repair that introduces a workaround immobilizer beginning right now. Different affected Hyundais and Kias will get their flip within the coming months.

Hundreds of thousands of Hyundai homeowners are about to pay a go to to their native Hyundai dealership because of a bunch of TikTok movies.

The backstory, for those who do not recall, is that somebody found out that some older Kia and Hyundai fashions constructed with a typical key ignition, so not a push-button begin, had been extremely straightforward to steal and created a TikTok “Kia Problem” encouraging others to strive it. The problem began in Milwaukee earlier than spreading to different elements of the U.S. and forcing Hyundai and Kia to reply.

Hyundai began putting in an engine immobilizer in all of its autos in November 2021. The corporate’s first large answer for present homeowners was a $170 safety package with an alarm and one essential element that the 2 automakers did not initially construct into the automobiles: a kill swap. The Metropolis of Seattle sued the automakers earlier this 12 months, accusing them of failing to put in satisfactory anti-theft expertise, particularly that immobilizer, within the affected autos. Kia didn’t provide the safety package however did be part of Hyundai in offering steering wheel locks for free of charge to any affected homeowners in partnership with native legislation enforcement businesses.

As we speak, Kia and Hyundai introduced a free, software-based repair for his or her thief magnets. Kia stated the brand new enhanced safety software program will “prohibit the unauthorized operation of car ignition programs on sure fashions not geared up with an immobilizer.” For its half, Hyundai stated the improve makes it so {that a} key fob is required to deactivate the kill swap. With out the repair, the automobile might be yours as soon as you’ve got smashed the home windows. Hyundai stated the repair would take sellers lower than an hour to put in. As a bonus to these potential window smashers, every mounted automobile “will probably be affixed with window decals to alert would-be thieves that the automobile is supplied with enhanced anti-theft expertise,” Hyundai stated.

2017 hyundai elantra sport

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport.

Automobile and Driver

Not all 2011 to 2022 mannequin 12 months Hyundais with out an engine immobilizer will have the ability to accommodate the software program improve. We hope the homeowners of those autos take pleasure in their steering wheel locks.

Kia stated its software program could be obtainable within the subsequent few months. Kia homeowners ought to go to the Kia Proprietor’s Portal or name 800–333–4542 to see if their automobile is eligible for the repair.

Hyundai has a two-phase launch schedule for the brand new software program repair, beginning with the 2017-2020 mannequin 12 months Elantra, 2015 to 2019 Sonata, and 2020 and 2021 Venue (that is a 2020 Venue pictured at prime). Hyundai stated this class of its best-selling fashions contains virtually 4 million autos. The repair for these autos is accessible beginning right now. Software program for different affected fashions will probably be obtainable in June. Hyundai homeowners ought to go to the Hyundai Anti-Theft web site (fairly a reputation) to arrange a restore, and the automaker can be reaching out to affected homeowners.

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