Viral videos known as “Kia Challenge” on TikTok and YouTube show how to start Kia or Hyundai brands with a USB cable.
Police departments make a TikTok trend for you national increase in thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles in the United States. Instructional videos on TikTok and YouTube showed the exact steps on how to start and drive a car with just a USB charging cable. This was reported by Insider.
Kia models that 2011 to 2021 and Hyundai models manufactured from 2015 to 2021 allowed the ignition to be bypassed. After removing the plastic trim under the steering column, a simple USB charging cable is then all it takes to start the cars, according to the Norfolk Police Department in Virginia.
The police also said their department in recorded an equal 35 percent increase in Kia and Hyundai thefts in the first half of July. The department announced in the on 13. July published press release:
“Although this is a new trend for Norfolk, exploitation of the vulnerability in these vehicle models has become a nationwide trend”
The St. Petersburg, Florida Police Department also noted the unusual trend in auto thefts related to the social media posts. Officials tweeted to residents and visitors that car owners reported two specific brands of cars stolen more than any other. They specifically stated that of the 56 cars reported stolen in the last 3 weeks, 23 Kia or Hyundai models. That would be almost half.
Investigators also found that car thieves exploit a vulnerability in these particular cars . “Crooks are looking for unlocked vehicles. If you find one, Jackpot”. You can then start the car using the USB charging cable and drive away in less than a minute. As a result, the police advise locking the car in any case. It is also worth noting that almost all suspects on the spot were between 14 and 17 years old.
TikTok “Kia Challenge” Encourages Users To Steal Cars
In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Hyundai and Kia vehicles made rounds in June 45 percent of reported car thefts. Memphis, Cincinnati and Ohio, among others, achieved similar peak values. As reported by Fox13, Memphis Police Department investigators ( MPD) a man from Memphis last week. This would be responsible for the theft of at least six of the popular targets, namely three Kias and three Hyundais.
The videos make accounts of how 414HypeHouse, who refer to themselves as “Kia Boys”, online. The car thieves show in detail how they go about it. They take the stolen cars for jaunts, crash them or try to cause spectacular accidents.
As reported by Insider, the incidents have proven to be increasingly dangerous across the country. Such unsafe driving has resulted in accidents associated with thefts, with individuals being seriously injured or even killed.
Apparently, the trend started in Milwaukee. Here, thefts of Hyundai and Kia models account for 66 percent of car thefts, CarBuzz reported. Compared to the previous year, this would be an increase of 2.500 percent.
TikTok said in a statement that videos showing people how to start cars with USB charging cables are against the guidelines of the company violated. A TikTok spokesperson told the MiamiHerald:
“Content that encourages or facilitates criminal activity, including theft, violates our community policies policies and will be removed from the platform.”
A KIA spokesman told AutoMK:
“Kia America is aware of the increase in vehicle theft from a subset of trim levels. All 2021 models and trim levels have an immobilizer that is applied either at the beginning of the model year or as an ongoing change. All Kia vehicles for sale in the United States meet or exceed federal motor vehicle safety standards. Kia customers with questions regarding their Kia vehicle should contact the Consumer Assistance Center directly at 1-500-333-4542 turn around.”
As theft rates continue to rise, law enforcement agencies are reminding Hyundai and Kia owners to use an anti-theft tool (such as a steering wheel lock ) to use. They also advise parking in a garage or in a well-lit area. It is also advisable to lock the doors, leave no valuables in the car and activate the alarm.