Hyundai & Kia Giving Free Steering Locks to Counter TikTok Thefts

Following a spate of TikTok-inspired car thefts, Hyundai Motor Co. will distribute free steering-wheel locks in the United States and enhance anti-theft software on 4 million vehicles. The viral films are aimed at Hyundai and Kia vehicles that lack an engine immobilizer, which prevents the vehicle from being started without a key.

Related: German Teenager Hacks 25 Teslas

So far hundreds, if not thousands of people, including those without a history of auto theft, have attempted to steal South Korean vehicles as a result of viral TikTok videos demonstrating how simple it is to steal numerous Hyundais and Kia vehicles due to the absence of electronic engine immobilizers.

12113197 08092022 kabc 4p tiktok car theft vid

Most insurance firms in the United States are refusing to cover certain Kia and Hyundai vehicles manufactured before November 2021 (when engine immobilizers became mandatory), and according to police, 80% of vehicles stolen in most districts last year were either Kia or Hyundai.

Related: Tesla and McLaren’s Keyless Entry System Could Be Hacked Within Seconds

The South Korean automaker said it would reimburse customers who had purchased steering wheel locks and would continue providing steering locks to law enforcement organizations for distribution to locals who own or rent the impacted models. There are now more than 23,000 locks available.

tiktok notice kia hyundai

According to information, more than 23,000 steering locks have been distributed so far. Furthermore, a theft-prevention software upgrade has already been made available to 1 million drivers, and Hyundai claims it will extend the offer to 3 million more in the upcoming weeks.

Related: Poor Car Keys Encryption: Hackers Can Clone Millions of Toyota, Kia, and Hyundai Keys

Attorneys general from 23 states have written to Kia and Hyundai, accusing them of moving too slowly to address the matter, and both Seattle and St. Louis have already filed lawsuits against the automakers for their role in the shambles.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments