Hyundai, Kia to replace computer software after rash of automobile thefts, some from TikTok problem

Hyundai and Kia are rolling out computer software updates to stem a raft of auto thefts associated to a TikTok problem that authorities think about has led to no decrease than 14 reported crashes and eight fatalities inside the U.S.

The updates are free for hundreds of 1000’s of autos which is in all probability lacking a key anti-theft machine, a draw again that was exploited on social media and led to rampant theft of the automobiles.

The computer software being launched updates the theft alarm computer software logic to enhance the size of the alarm sound from 30 seconds to at least one minute and requires the important factor to be inside the ignition change to level out the automobile on.

About three.eight million Hyundais and 4.5 million Kias are eligible for the computer software replace, the nationwide freeway site visitors safety Administration said Tuesday.

Hyundai said updates start Tuesday for virtually 4 million autos, starting with 1,000,000 mannequin yr 2017-2020 Elantras, 2015-2019 Sonatas and 2020-2021 Venues. The computer software improve is scheduled to be obtainable for the remaining eligible autos by June.

“we have gotten prioritized the improve’s availability for residence owners and lessees of our highest-promoting autos and people most focused by thieves to make optimistic that that sellers to service them first,” said Randy Parker, CEO of Hyundai Motor America.

Kia said it had already begun to replace the computer software for some autos.

Seattle sues automakers after rash of thefts

In September, the freeway Loss information Institute, a unit of the insurance coverage Institute for freeway safety, found that Hyundais and Kias with out immobilizers had a automobile theft declare cost of two.18 per 1,000 insured automobile years. the the rest of the commerce mixed had a cost of 1.21. An insured automobile yr is equal as one automobile insured for one yr.

The institute in contrast autos from the 2015 by means of 2019 mannequin years. It studied automobile theft claims from 2021.

Hyundai says all fashions produced after Nov. 1, 2021, have immobilizers as commonplace devices.

A TikTok social media problem put a spotlight on the autos’ lack of an immobilizer and resulted in no decrease than 14 reported crashes and eight fatalities, in accordance with the NHTSA. The problem displays TikTok viewers discover out how to sizzling-wire Kia and Hyundai automobiles with a USB twine and a screwdriver.

Hyundai and Kia will start computer software updates later this month, with subsequent phases over the following a quantity of months. Hyundai will even current window stickers to automobile residence owners that alert would-be thieves that the automobile has anti-theft safety.

the metropolis of Seattle final month sued Hyundai and Kia for its failure to place in anti-theft expertise on some fashions.

“Kia and Hyundai chosen to reduce corners and reduce prices on the expense of their clients and the complete public,” said Ann Davison, legal professional for the metropolis, in an announcement. “consequently, our police strain has needed to sort out an limitless rise in automobile theft and associated factors with already stretched sources.”

Seattle officers said thefts of Hyundai and Kia automobiles in July 2022 have been 503 per cent and 363 per cent greater, respectively, than the identical month the earlier yr.


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