A viral TikTok “trend” was taking over St. Pete and other parts of the country last August. St. Petersburg police reported in 2022 that 41% of thefts reported during the month of July were Kia or Hyundai models. Hopefully the number of car thefts will go down this year with a new software release from Kia and Hyundai.
KIA & Hyundai Theft Alert!#stpete pd is seeing an unusual trend.Since July 11th, 23 out of 56 stolen cars have been Kia/Hyundais models 2021 and older,that use keys to start.— St. Pete Police (@StPetePD) July 27, 2022
Anyone with a KIA/Hyundai that uses a key, **please** #lockitup pic.twitter.com/l2ZwVHP7cd
News Channel 8 reported that the new theft deterrent software was developed for more than 8 million cars. It can be installed free of charge. The biggest change with this software is that it will require the key to be in the ignition switch to turn the vehicle on. TikTok showed criminals that older Kia and Hyundai models can be turned on with a USB cord, instead of the ignition button. The second part of the update is for the alarm system. It updates the theft alarm software logic to extend the alarm sound from 30 seconds to one minute.
Hyundai will also provide its customers with a window sticker alerting would-be thieves that the vehicle is equipped with anti-theft protection. Kia and Hyundai are expected to roll out these updates in phases over the next month. If you drive 2017-2020 Elantra, 2015-2019 Sonata, or 2020-2021 Venue, your software is available. All customers will have to do is take their car to the nearest Hyundai dealership to have the software installed.
More information is available at www.hyundaiantitheft.com. Customers can input their vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to find out when it is eligible for the software upgrade.