Hyundai, Kia rolling out free software to combat viral car theft videos on YouTube, TikTok

Hyundai, Kia rolling out free software to combat viral car theft videos on YouTube, TikTok

Hyundai and Kia might last but not least have a alternative to a theft challenge that has dragged on for extra than two yrs, led to class motion lawsuits and plagued regulation enforcement and car homeowners throughout the United States.

The Nationwide Highway Targeted visitors and Basic safety Administration stated Tuesday the automakers have created theft deterrent computer software for much more than 8 million of its vehicles that deficiency an immobilizer process, which has created them a goal of robbers throughout the state. The software program will be furnished totally free of charge to auto homeowners.

The program will be out there to about 3.8 million Hyundai and 4.5 million Kia cars, according to NHTSA.

The computer software would make two crucial adjustments to the Kia and Hyundai autos. It updates the theft alarm software program logic to prolong the alarm audio from 30 seconds to one particular minute and also demands a crucial to be in the ignition swap to convert the automobile on.

Hyundai is also sending buyers a window sticker alerting would-be burglars that the car or truck is geared up with anti-theft protection. The automaker stated it will send the stickers and roll out program updates in a phased strategy commencing later on this month. Kia, which is less than the very same mum or dad firm, is also rolling out its no cost software updates, beginning later on this month.

The automakers have also equipped additional than 26,000 steering wheel locks due to the fact November 2022 to 77 law enforcement organizations in 12 states.

Car thefts rose through the pandemic, but particular manufacturers, specifically Kia and Hyundai, took the brunt of it owing to vulnerabilities. The trouble grew to become so pronounced that city governments (most recently Seattle) and auto entrepreneurs have filed lawsuits against the automakers more than the problem.

Many new cars these days use chip keys, which connect with a further chip in the ignition switch. When a “match” is produced, the motor vehicle begins. But a range of base Hyundai and Kia versions absence protecting measures.

Youthful adults and teens figured out that many lower-priced types of the Kia and Hyundai lacked specified protections and uncovered to break the back again window with no setting off the alarm, stripping off the steering column and use a screwdriver or USB port to start out the auto.

Investigators have blamed educational films, which initially appeared on YouTube and later on produced their way to TikTok, for the rise in Kia and Hyundai auto thefts. The Kia and Hyundai thefts started off in the Milwaukee location by a team dubbed the Kia Boys and spread to many Midwest towns following films highlighting what they did and how had been posted and went viral.

Countless numbers of these vehicles have been stolen and there have been at least 14 documented crashes and eight fatalities, in accordance to NHTSA, as a consequence of the nationwide pattern.

NHTSA urged owners of these autos to get hold of Hyundai (toll-cost-free at 800-633-5151) or Kia (toll-cost-free at 800-333-4542) for data on the cost-free update.