After a Kia Boyz TikTok trend encouraged people to steal Hyundai and Kia vehicles, the automakers are fighting back. Hyundai released a kit for buyers and shipped it nationwide to dealerships. If you have a Hyundai or Kia car, truck, or sport utility vehicle that might be impacted, the information on the security kit is below.
Which Hyundai and Kia vehicles are thieves targeting?
Forbes notes that Hyundai and Kia vehicles produced after November 1, 2021, come standard with the anti-theft immobilizer. This immobilizer is the piece missing from the other cars that allows for a quick theft.
In 2021 alone, Hyundai sold 738,081 vehicles, with the Hyundai Tucson SUV, Santa Fe, and Elantra being the brand’s best-sellers. Kia produced the impacted cars and SUVs from 2011 to 2021. The impacted Hyundai vehicles are the Accent, Elantra, Elantra GT, Sonata, Veloster, Venue, Kona, Tucson, Santa Fe, Santa Fe Sport, Santa Fe XL, and Palisade. Forbes says the vehicles are primarily from 2016 through 2021.
According to Kelley Blue Book, if your car key doesn’t have plastic housing and is just a plain key, it might lack the engine immobilizer. If Hyundai or Kia has an immobilizer, the key has a plastic housing or a key fob to unlock doors. Vehicles with push-button start do not have the issue.
Hyundai and Kia owners can install a security kit
Forbes says Hyundai is now offering a Compustar Firstech glass-break sensor security kit. This kit will be available at Hyundai dealerships and Compustar stores for $170. Customers will be responsible for paying additional installation fees. Call your local dealership or Compustar store to ensure the kit is in stock before heading there.
In the meantime, owners of Hyundai and Kia vehicles can contact local police departments to get a steering wheel lock. Hyundai and Kia are working on updating the software to ensure amateur thieves cannot gain access to these vehicles.
With all of these options combined, owners of Kia and Hyundai cars should be able to secure the vehicles. While the Kia Boyz had a heart start using TikTok to help spread the word of the security shortcomings, it seems Hyundai and Kia are rectifying the problem from many angles.
Law enforcement is working with the automakers to prevent more thefts
Hyundai spokesperson Ira Gabriel spoke with reporters, saying, “The dealers have been notified and are currently receiving training bulletins and instructions on how to perform the installation, which will take about 2.5 hours to complete.”
Law enforcement sources have reported an enormous spike in thefts for 2015 to 2019 Hyundai and Kia vehicles. The companies share many parts, which has left both automakers scrambling to fix the issue. Kelley Blue Book notes that 15 separate class-action lawsuits have been filed in over 14 states. The video above interviews the Kia Boys to get a better picture of what goes into this theft.
If you have one of these impacted Hyundai and Kia vehicles, it is a good idea to rectify this situation sooner than later. Give your local dealership a call to see if the kit is available and can be installed sometime soon.