Hyundai offers pricey fix for easily stolen 'TikTok challenge' models – Autoblog

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Many Hyundai and Kia owners recently found themselves as the butt of an unfortunate internet phenomenon. Users on TikTok and other social media sites have shared videos of ways to break into and steal older Hyundai and Kia models that are missing an electronic immobilizer. Now, Hyundai dealerships have a solution in the form of a retrofitted security kit.
It’s easy to blow this off as a fast-moving internet trend among Gen-Z-ers, but there have been plenty of real-life consequences. Milwaukee news outlet WTMJ-TV reported that thieves had nabbed an average of six Hyundai vehicles a day so far this year, but Kia thefts have still outpaced their corporate cousins by around 400 more this year.
Much to the dismay of vehicle owners, the cost of an aftermarket immobilizer falls on them, not the automakers. It starts at $170, which does not include labor/installation that could add up to several hundred dollars more.
The kits aren’t available to all Hyundai owners. Only models with key start made between 2016 and 2021 are eligible for the fix, which includes a kill switch and alarm system. Once installed, the system sounds the horn if someone tries to break in, but if they make it past that, the car won’t start without the key.
Hyundai sold nearly three-quarters of a million cars in the U.S. in 2016 alone, so there are plenty of people driving around that need one of these kits. Kia and Hyundai have been sued over the issue, but so far, only Hyundai has a fix. If you’ve got an affected Kia, it’s probably time to go old-school with The Club.
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