Hyundai and Kia to Pay Owners $200 Million Over Easily Stolen Cars

Hyundai and Kia will lose an additional $200 million as a result of the viral “Kia Challenge” TikTok trend that saw thousands of vehicles from the South Korean automakers stolen in the USA.

The two manufacturers have agreed to compensate customers who had their vehicles stolen or damaged in ways that weren’t covered by insurance with an estimated $200 million. Additionally, the funds will compensate Hyundai and Kia owners for any losses brought on by paying increased insurance premiums, insurance deductibles, or other theft-related costs.

tik tok challenge kia

Users of the well-known video-sharing platform TikTok started seeing videos in early 2021 demonstrating just how simple it was to steal some Hyundai and Kia cars without push-button ignitions or an immobilizer, a mechanism that stops the car from driving if the key fob is not recognized. Before spreading throughout the country, the trend began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the number of stolen Hyundai and Kia vehicles increased by 25 times in the first half of 2021 despite a mere 2.5-fold increase in overall thefts.


According to Reuters, around 9 million Hyundai and Kia automobiles will be covered by the $200 million settlement, and up to $145 million will be set aside to offset consumers’ out-of-pocket expenses. Kia and Hyundai have stated that they expect the court to provide preliminary approval to the deal in July.

Related: Hyundai & Kia Giving Free Steering Locks to Counter TikTok Thefts

Years of interim measures, such as free steering wheel locks and $170 anti-theft kits, have been offered by Hyundai and Kia. A free security software upgrade, according to claims made by Kia and Hyundai in February, would function as an immobilizer on vehicles lacking one. When it became apparent how simple it was to steal one of these vehicles, the South Korean manufacturers teamed up with AAA in April to provide insurance for owners who had lost coverage from other suppliers.

Kia challenge

The class-action participants’ expenditures for resolving these concerns will be covered by the $200 million settlement. Anyone who agrees to the settlement and owns an eligible Hyundai or Kia vehicle will automatically receive the free software upgrade during their subsequent servicing appointment at a dealer. The owners will receive up to $300 to purchase the anti-theft equipment of their choice if the software cannot be deployed.

Related: KiKi Challenge Becoming a Global Safety Issue

The “Kia Challenge” may have had an impact on about 9 million Kia and Hyundai vehicles. The affected vehicles are listed below, with the easiest-to-steal variants being primarily the base trims without push-button ignitions.

Hyundai Models

  • 2011–2022 Accent
  • 2011–2022 Elantra
  • 2013–2017 Elantra GT
  • 2013–2014 Elantra Coupe
  • 2011–2012 Elantra Touring
  • 2011–2014 Genesis Coupe
  • 2018–2022 Kona
  • 2020–2021 Palisade
  • 2011–2012, 2019–2022 Santa Fe
  • 2013–2018, 2019 Santa Fe, Santa Fe XL
  • 2013–2018 Santa Fe Sport
  • 2011–2019 Sonata
  • 2011–2022 Tucson
  • 2012–2017, 2019–2021 Veloster
  • 2020–2021 Venue
  • 2011–2012 Veracruz

Kia Models

  • 2011–2021 Forte
  • 2021–2022 K5
  • 2011–2020 Optima
  • 2011–2021 Rio
  • 2011–2021 Sedona
  • 2021–2022 Seltos
  • 2010–2022 Soul
  • 2011–2022 Sorento
  • 2011–2022 Sportage
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