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Hyundai and Kia compelled to replace software program on hundreds of thousands of autos due to viral TikTok problem

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Hyundai and Kia are providing free software program updates for hundreds of thousands of their vehicles in response to a rash of automobile thefts impressed by a viral social media problem on TikTok.

The so-called “Kia Problem” on the social media platform has led to tons of of automobile thefts nationwide, together with at the very least 14 reported crashes and eight fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thieves referred to as “the Kia Boyz” would put up tutorial movies about bypass the autos’ safety system utilizing instruments so simple as a USB cable.

The thefts are reportedly simple to tug off as a result of many 2015-2019 Hyundai and Kia autos lack digital immobilizers that stop thieves from merely breaking in and bypassing the ignition. The function is standard equipment on nearly all vehicles from the identical interval made by different producers.

The so-called “Kia Problem” on the social media platform has led to tons of of automobile thefts nationwide

Hyundai and its subsidiary Kia are providing to replace the “theft alarm software program logic” to increase the size of the alarm sound from 30 seconds to 1 minute. The autos may also be up to date to require a key within the ignition change to show the automobile on.

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The software program improve modifies sure automobile management modules on Hyundai autos outfitted with commonplace “turn-key-to-start” ignition programs. Because of this, locking the doorways with the important thing fob will set the manufacturing unit alarm and activate an “ignition kill” function so the autos can’t be began when subjected to the popularized theft mode. Clients should use the important thing fob to unlock their autos to deactivate the “ignition kill” function.

Right here’s what the software program replace will do, in keeping with Hyundai:

The software program improve modifies sure automobile management modules on Hyundai autos outfitted with commonplace “turn-key-to-start” ignition programs. Because of this, locking the doorways with the important thing fob will set the manufacturing unit alarm and activate an “ignition kill” function so the autos can’t be began when subjected to the popularized theft mode. Clients should use the important thing fob to unlock their autos to deactivate the “ignition kill” function.

There hasn’t been a nationwide accounting of what number of Hyundai and Kia autos have been stolen, however stats from particular person cities present some sense of how viral the pattern has change into. In Milwaukee, for instance, police report that 469 Kias and 426 Hyundais have been stolen in 2020. These numbers spiked the next 12 months to three,557 Kias and three,406 Hyundais, according to NPR.

Roughly 3.8 million Hyundais and 4.5 million Kias are eligible for the software program replace freed from cost

Roughly 3.8 million Hyundais and 4.5 million Kias are eligible for the software update freed from cost, for a complete of 8.3 million vehicles. Car homeowners are instructed to take their vehicles to an area dealership, the place technicians will set up the upgrades in lower than an hour. The upgraded autos may also get a window decal indicating they’ve been outfitted with anti-theft know-how.

Beginning this week, homeowners of 2017-2020 Elantra, 2015-2019 Sonata, and 2020-2021 Venue autos are eligible for the replace. Further fashions, together with Kona, Palisade, and Santa Fe autos, will likely be serviced beginning June 2023. Clients can enter their automobile’s VIN quantity at this website to search out out once they’re eligible for the improve. Kia will roll out its phased strategy later this month.

Beforehand, Hyundai was charging homeowners at the very least $170 for security kits to fix the issue. With set up and labor, these prices might soar to $500. Hyundai and Kia have been additionally providing some homeowners wheel locks to forestall thefts. NTSA says the businesses have handed out 26,000 wheel locks since November 2022.



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