Los Angeles Police Department reported that criminals are using USB cables to steal certain models of Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
Too easy to steal
This, after some owners of vehicles of these brands, sued the automakers under the argument that they manufacture vehicles that are “too easy to steal”.
Kia car theft grew 767%
Statistically, at the end of August, almost 20% of the cars that have been stolen in the city were of Korean origin, while the theft of these brands grew 767% in 2022.
According to the Omaha, Nebraska police department, “the increase is also a nationwide problem and has become a trend on social media platforms.”
Another “brainchild” of TikTok users
Videos have been circulating on TikTok with a challenge called: “Kia Boyz” featuring young people stealing vehicles while recording themselves driving recklessly, weaving in and out of traffic, and dodging other vehicles. But in the Midwest region, where the trend allegedly began, the theft of cars of these brands increased.
NBC News spoke with a TikTok representative who stated that this platform “does not condone this behavior which categorically violates our policies and all content related to these behaviors will be removed.”
The Miami Herald detailed that after the launch of this challenge, messages appeared from affected owners. “My car was stolen the same way two nights ago,” one woman wrote on TikTok. “I am so devastated.”
Lock your doors, remove the keys from the vehicle
As a result of this incidence, different authorities have shared some advice to owners to increase the security of their vehicles: “Lock your doors, remove the keys from the vehicle, close the windows, park in well-lit areas, install an audible alarm system and anti-theft device, install a vehicle immobilizer system, and install a tracking device.”
Kia reported that it is working with law enforcement to implement in its vehicles “steering wheel locking devices at no cost to law enforcement in affected areas to deter vandalism and theft.”
Kia Motors is responding
“All 2022 models and versions have an immobilizer applied either at the beginning of the year or as a running change. All Kia vehicles for sale in the U.S. meet or exceed federal motor vehicle safety standards,” the maker concluded in a statement.