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The saga of the Hyundai and Kia thefts and TikTok “Kia Boys” striking all over the U.S. is ongoing. There are band-aids from Korean manufacturers, lawsuits, free steering wheel locks from local authorities to slow down the thieves, insurance company cancellations, and more. But leave it to intrepid owners to come up with their own ways of thwarting the ever-increasing rash of Kia and Hyundai thieves. And in this case, it’s a cheap and easy badge-engineering trick anyone can do. 

This may be the best solution to this problem because it tricks the thieves. You’re pulling a fast one on them by simply making up a “Ford” blue oval logo and slapping it over every identification on your car. You’ll need a computer, a printer, and some packing tape, and you’re off and running. Everyone has those things, right?

Here’s how to protect your Kia and Hyundai from thieves

White 2016 Hyundai Sonata sedan against building
2016 Hyundai Sonata sedan | Hyundai

Print off the proper-sized Ford logo and tape over it to affix it to your car, and to protect it from the elements, at least for a while. Eventually, the weather will take its toll, and you’ll need to repeat the cover-up. Since there is no real panache to having “Kia” or “Hyundai” badges, no offense meant to you Kia and Hyundai owners; who cares if they get cheap Ford cover-ups?

Unfortunately, there is also no particular charm to the Ford logo either. But it’s not like you’re covering your Porsche or BMW with Ford logos. So that’s another advantage to this sleight of hand. According to u/Crawlerx on Reddit, it’s working so far. 

Are Kia, Hyundai, and other makes looking too much alike?

1983 Fortune cover "Will Success Spoil General Motors?"
1983 Fortune magazine cover | Fortune

Of course, one TikTok theft trend portends another. There are now new theft challenges, according to the New York Post. But besides theft, there’s another underlying problem. No, not how easy it is to steal cars. Instead, it reminds all of us that cars and SUVs of all stripes are all looking alike. It has been an ongoing problem since the 1970s. There is a homogenization of designs. 

After all, if your Kia or Hyundai looks the same as a Ford to car thieves, fooling them with phony stickers, it’s a problem. Back in the early-1980s, GM was embarrassed by a magazine cover. The Fortune cover had four midsize GM sedans in the same color placed side-by-side. No one could tell which was the Buick, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, or Pontiac model. 

Thwarting and tricking the thieves

2018 Kia K5 Optima sedan on black background
2018 Kia K5 Optima sedan | Kia

They were identical in too many ways. It was the opening of an ongoing discussion about the costs of badge engineering to save a few bucks. All of the car companies did it, but with GM having the most brands under its umbrella, this made it look the worst.

As for Kia and Hyundai owners, you now have one more tool in striking back at thieves eyeing your whip.


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