Hyundai and Kia cars are being stolen more frequently in the U.S. due to a social media craze that shows how to break into them. The challenge, which is popular on TikTok and YouTube, involves removing a plastic cover behind the steering wheel and inserting a USB cable. Milwaukee has been particularly affected by this problem, where a group of young boys called the Kia Boys has gained notoriety for stealing cars and posting videos of their reckless driving on TikTok, where the hashtag “Kia Boys” has over 33 million views. TikTok said that it “does not support this behavior, which goes against our policies, and will be deleted if found on our platform.”
Thefts on The Rise
Karen Perkins from Illinois said that her 2019 Kia Sorrento was taken from outside her apartment on August 6. “I looked out the window and saw that my car was missing,” Perkins said. A few days later, she was in a rental car at a traffic light when she saw her stolen Kia drive by. “I saw a teenage boy in the front,” Perkins said. “I went around the block… When five kids jumped into my car, I was scared that I would lose my car forever.” Car thefts have increased nationwide, not just in Milwaukee. The police department in St. Petersburg, Florida, said that 23 of the 56 cars stolen on local streets since July 11 have been Kia and Hyundai models 2021MY and older.
@bittyandaria #stitch with @news4jax #besafe #hyundaichallange #foryoupage #becarful #usbchallenge ♬ original sound – Bella’s crew
Hyundai and Kia Owners Must Be More Careful
Authorities warned Hyundai and Kia owners to be careful on Twitter. “Anyone with a Kia/Hyundai that uses a key, please #lockitup,” the message said. According to authorities, Kia models from 2011 and 2012 and Hyundai models from 2015 to 2021 have a flaw that allows the ignition to be easily bypassed. Most of those who steal Kia and Hyundai vehicles are between 14 and 17 years old. Sgt. Cody Lance of the St. Petersburg Police Department says most stolen cars are unlocked and urges owners to always lock their vehicles. He also suggested using steering wheel locks and parking-prone Hyundai and Kia models behind other vehicles to make them harder to steal. The trend is spreading across the country. As we saw recently, officials in St. Paul, Minnesota, have recorded a huge spike in Kia thefts over the previous year and an 854 percent increase in stolen Hyundais. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Hyundai, and Kia models accounted for over half of all car thefts. St. Louis, Memphis, Cincinnati, and Columbus have also increased thefts.
@fari_negasi #kia #challenge #breakin #trending #payattention #besafe ♬ original sound – Fari Negasi
TikTok Kia Challenge is a social media trend that shows how to steal certain Kia and Hyundai cars by removing a plastic cover behind the steering wheel and inserting a USB cable. The challenge has been linked to a series of car thefts and crashes in the U.S. and Australia.
TikTok Kia Challenge started in early July 2022, when a TikTok user posted a video demonstrating how to start a Kia car with a USB cable. The video went viral and inspired other users to copy the technique and post their own videos.
According to authorities, Kia models from 2011 and 2012 and Hyundai models from 2015 to 2021 are vulnerable to the TikTok Kia Challenge, because they lack an immobilizer device that prevents the ignition from being bypassed.
TikTok Kia Challenge has resulted in a surge of car thefts and robberies from vehicles, as well as several fatal crashes involving stolen cars. Law enforcement agencies have warned that those who participate in the challenge will face criminal charges and penalties.
Hyundai and Kia are rolling out software updates to enhance the theft alarm system and require the key to be in the ignition switch to start the vehicle. The updates are free for millions of eligible vehicles and will be available by June 2023.
Hyundai and Kia owners are advised to always lock their vehicles, use steering wheel locks, park their vehicles behind other vehicles, and report any suspicious activity. They can also apply for the software update from their dealers or online.
You can report TikTok Kia Challenge videos on TikTok by tapping on the share icon on the bottom right of the video, selecting “Report”, choosing “Illegal activities & regulated goods”, and following the instructions.
You can avoid watching TikTok Kia Challenge videos on TikTok by tapping on the “Not interested” option on the bottom left of the video, or by long-pressing on the video and selecting “Not interested”. You can also block or report users who post such videos.
What is TikTok Kia Challenge? The TikTok Kia Challenge is a disturbing trend that has emerged on social media where people film themselves stealing Hyundai and Kia cars and taking them on joyrides. While it may seem like a silly prank or an attempt at creating viral content, this behavior is illegal and can result in serious consequences. Kia Motors has condemned this challenge and advised against participating in such activities. Furthermore, law enforcement agencies have warned that those caught engaging in such acts will face fines and jail time. It is important to remember that social media challenges and trends like these can have real-world ramifications, and we should prioritize our safety and respect the property of others.