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

  • Tens of millions of Hyundai and Kia autos could possibly be simply stolen—and hundreds have—on account of a choice to not set up engine immobilizers after they have been constructed.
  • Standard TikTok movies challenged individuals to attempt to steal a automotive 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.

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

The backstory, when you do not recall, is that somebody discovered that some older Kia and Hyundai fashions constructed with an ordinary key ignition, so not a push-button begin, have been extremely simple 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 resolution for present homeowners was a $170 safety package with an alarm and one essential part that the 2 automakers did not initially construct into the vehicles: a kill swap. The Metropolis of Seattle sued the automakers earlier this yr, accusing them of failing to put in satisfactory anti-theft expertise, particularly that immobilizer, within the affected autos. Kia didn’t supply the safety package however did be part of Hyundai in offering steering wheel locks without charge to any affected homeowners in partnership with native legislation enforcement companies.

At present, 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 methods 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 automotive could possibly be yours as soon as you have 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 fastened automobile “shall be affixed with window decals to alert would-be thieves that the automobile is provided with enhanced anti-theft expertise,” Hyundai stated.

2017 hyundai elantra sport

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport.

Automobile and Driver

Not all 2011 to 2022 mannequin yr Hyundais with out an engine immobilizer will be capable to accommodate the software program improve. We hope the homeowners of those autos get pleasure from their steering wheel locks.

Kia stated its software program could be accessible 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 yr Elantra, 2015 to 2019 Sonata, and 2020 and 2021 Venue (that is a 2020 Venue pictured at high). Hyundai stated this class of its best-selling fashions contains nearly 4 million autos. The repair for these autos is out there beginning right now. Software program for different affected fashions shall be accessible in June. Hyundai homeowners ought to go to the Hyundai Anti-Theft website (fairly a reputation) to arrange a restore, and the automaker can also be reaching out to affected homeowners.