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In recent months, there has been a surge in thefts of Kia and Hyundai cars in Seattle and other cities across the United States. The increase in thefts is being attributed to a TikTok video that shows how to steal these cars using a USB cable.
The video, which has been viewed over 33 million times, shows how to exploit a security vulnerability in some Kia and Hyundai cars. These cars have a feature that allows them to be started using a USB cable. However, this feature can be used by thieves to bypass the ignition and start the car without a key.
Kia and Hyundai have agreed to pay $200 million in claims as a result of a Class Action lawsuit filed on behalf of owners.
The rise in Kia and Hyundai thefts has been particularly pronounced in Seattle. In the first five months of 2023, there were over 1,000 thefts of Kia and Hyundai cars in Seattle, a 433% increase from the same period in 2022.
The surge in thefts has prompted the Seattle Police Department to issue a warning to Kia and Hyundai owners. The police department is advising owners to take steps to protect their cars, such as parking in well-lit areas and using a steering wheel lock.
Kia and Hyundai have acknowledged the security vulnerability and have taken steps to address it. In February, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the manufacturers announced that they would begin rolling out software updates to combat this issue. They are also giving away free steering wheel locks for vehicles affected.
Here are some tips to protect your Kia and Hyundai from being stolen:
- Update your cars software as soon as possible.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Use a steering wheel lock.
- Install an alarm system.
- Make sure your car is locked when you leave it.
- Do not leave valuables in your car.
- Report any suspicious activity to the police.
In addition to taking steps to protect your car, you can also help to deter thieves by being aware of the signs of a potential theft. Some of the signs to watch for include:
- People loitering around your car.
- People trying to open your car doors.
- People looking under your car.
- People trying to start your car without a key.
If you see any of these signs, call the police immediately.
The rise in Kia and Hyundai thefts is a serious problem. By taking steps to protect your car and being aware of the signs of a potential theft, you can help to deter thieves and keep your car safe.
Tom’s Automotive can assist you with all your Kia and Hyundai maintenance and service. If you have questions about what’s been happening please give us a call and we would be happy to help any way we can.