Automobile producers Kia and Hyundai introduced Tuesday they’ll present a theft deterrent software program replace for thousands and thousands of their automobiles that lack an engine immobilizer. The replace would require the important thing to be within the ignition change to show the car on and the size of the alarm sound will probably be modified from 30 seconds to at least one minute.
Kia and Hyundai fashions have been focused throughout the nation following a TikTok social media problem that encourages the stealing of those automobiles and reveals viewers steal the car with out a key.
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The automobiles being focused are Kia fashions from 2011-21 and Hyundai fashions from 2015-21. Some auto insurance coverage corporations are refusing to insure the automobiles, based on Indianapolis police. The fashions haven’t got digital immobilizers, which confirms that the important thing belongs with that car.
The rise of stolen Kias and Hyundais began in Milwaukee with a infamous car-theft group often called the “Kia Boys” as a result of they primarily goal Kias and Hyundais. The group realized simply steal the automobiles utilizing nothing however a screwdriver and USB charging twine from watching movies on-line. The problem started impacting different cities, together with Indianapolis as of late.
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Whereas thefts of automobiles in Indianapolis are down 12% in 2023, thefts of sure Kia and Hyundai fashions have elevated this yr, based on the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Division.
In January, 19% of all automobiles stolen within the metropolis have been Kia or Hyundai fashions. For comparability, these automobiles solely accounted for 4% of all stolen automobiles from August 2021 by means of January 2022.
In keeping with the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration, Kia and Hyundai will present the software program replace freed from cost, which will probably be dealt with in a phased strategy. Hyundai additionally will present prospects with a window sticker alerting would-be thieves that the car is supplied with anti-theft safety.
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The improve modifies car management modules on Hyundai automobiles which have normal “turn-key-to-start” ignition programs. As soon as the programs are upgraded, locking the doorways with the important thing fob will set the manufacturing facility alarm and activate an “ignition kill” characteristic so the automobiles cannot be began when thieves attempt to take off with them.
Clients should use the important thing fob to unlock their automobiles and deactivate the ignition kill characteristic, Hyundai stated.
Kia has additionally promised some prospects enhanced safety software program that ought to be accessible over the following few months, the corporate stated in a press release Tuesday.
Kia automobiles newer than 2011 and Hyundai automobiles newer than 2015 have been impacted.
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In keeping with Hyundai, all the firm’s automobiles produced since November 2021 have an engine immobilizer. All of Kia’s 2022 fashions have an immobilizer.
NHTSA urges house owners of those automobiles to contact Hyundai (toll-free at 800-633-5151) or Kia (toll-free at 800-333-4542) for info on the free replace.
The way to defend your Kia and Hyundai from being stolen
Indianapolis police shared the next suggestions:
- Set up a steering wheel locking machine
- Set up high quality video surveillance cameras and alarms
- Set up a GPS monitoring machine
- Go away porch lights on
- Name police relating to suspicious individuals
- Lock all home windows and doorways
- By no means go away your automobile operating
- Set up relationships with neighbors and fellow enterprise house owners
- Contact dealerships relating to anti-theft choices for the car
- Maintain info, such because the make, mannequin, mannequin yr, license plate and Automobile Identification Quantity accessible within the occasion your car is stolen
IndyStar reporter Jake Allen contributed to this report. USA At this time contributed to this report.