Consumer Alert: Kia and Hyundai Cars at Risk of Being Stolen Due to TikTok Trend

March 16, 2023 | Topic: Consumers

2015-2021 Kia & Hyundai Vehicles at Risk Until Software Update Scheduled for June

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Michelle Henry is warning Pennsylvania Kia and Hyundai vehicle owners of a social media-fueled trend that has resulted in numerous thefts, and encourages owners to take steps to protect themselves if they are vulnerable. A recent TikTok challenge encourages viewers to steal a Kia or Hyundai vehicle using household items. The affected vehicles are notably missing software that would prevent the vehicle from being started without the key, leading to the rise in exploitation on social media.

Hyundai and Kia have begun pushing out software updates that resolve this issue and many affected vehicles should have the update by June 2023. Consumers may need to bring their vehicle to a Kia or Hyundai dealership for the software update.

“Social media has opened so many doors and opportunities for information-sharing,” said Attorney General Henry. “Unfortunately, not all of those opportunities serve a positive purpose, so consumers should be aware of trends that leave them vulnerable to crime. I am thankful that Hyundai and Kia are already releasing the software corrections for these vehicles and for their partnership with local law enforcement to give consumers free steering wheel locks.”

Affected vehicles include 2017-2020 Hyundai Elantras, 2015-2019 Hyundai Sonatas, and 2020-2021 Hyundai Venues. Hyundai and Kia have partnered with local law enforcement to provide free steering wheel locks to consumers with affected vehicles. Consumers should contact their local law enforcement agency to inquire if they are eligible for a free steering wheel lock.

Vehicle owners can contact Hyundai at 800-633-5151 and Kia at 800-333-4542 for more information on the software update.

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