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Kias, Hyundais still stolen after free fix to prevent thefts made popular on TikTok

AZ Family Kia Hyundai Theft Story 05.09.2024

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

“It doesn’t appear to be a perfect software fix. There are a number of consumers who’ve complained about having their vehicle stolen afterwards,” said Michael Brooks, the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, noting it is unclear why the fix isn’t working in some cases. “It could be thieves are finding other ways to steal these cars. It could also be that sometimes consumers have aftermarket software or their own security system that might be interfering with the Hyundai and Kia software, but that’s something that Kia and Hyundai really need to take a look at.”

By Susan Campbell
May 8, 2024

In surveillance video, a car whips around and two people walk into a driveway. From a different camera, you can see a person who’s wearing a hoodie open the door of an SUV and climb in.

“It took them three minutes, and I walked out in the morning and my car was gone,” Kara Janssen told On Your Side.

Janssen said a group of people stole her Kia Sportage right out of her driveway because of a viral social media challenge.

“This is all happening because of the ‘Kia boys’ on TikTok,” she said. “They’ve learned how to take off the shaft, your steering wheel shaft and use your charger to just open it up. It takes them about three to five minutes, and they’re gone.”

About 4.5 million Kia and 3.8 million Hyundai vehicles were manufactured without immobilizers, making them easier to steal.

Click here to view the full story from AZ Family Phoenix.