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Kia And Hyundai Offer Solution To ‘Kia Boyz’ TikTok Trend After Hundreds Of Cars Stolen

Kia has begun reaching out to the select group of vehicle owners impacted by the ‘Kia Boyz’ TikTok challenge by sending letters out to owners. The South Korean automaker is providing a solution to alleviate the negative consequences on its brand’s reputation, and the best part? It won’t cost you a dime.

A software update is being offered to Kia customers whose vehicles were affected by the TikTok trend. After the upgrade, the customers will receive a sticker meant to deter any potential theft attempts using the infamous USB trick. This offer is valid until August 2024 and the update process is estimated to take one or two hours, although some may require a day off.

What is the USB trick?

The “USB trick” refers to a method used to start the engine of a Kia vehicle equipped with a “turn-to-start” ignition system, by using a USB cable instead of a key or other device. The trick gained notoriety on TikTok, where a trend of demonstrating the method went viral, causing concerns for Kia owners and leading to negative consequences for the automaker’s brand.

The “Kia Boyz” TikTok trend went viral last summer, showcasing teenagers starting a Kia engine using a simple USB cable instead of a key or more complicated device. Not only Kia vehicles, but also Hyundai cars with the same ignition system were at risk to this annoying threat.

Kia and Hyundai’s initial response of offering security kits and steering wheel locks was met with dissatisfaction from customers, leading to a class-action lawsuit in 14 states. Despite the locks being offered, customers have reported their unavailability, and public authorities have taken issue with the lack of immobilizers in these vehicles.

As a result, insurance companies are declining renewals for certain Kia and Hyundai models. For example, State Farm has declared 105 vehicles manufactured between 2015 and 2021 uninsurable, which is approximately 74% of the automaker’s vehicles in the US.

If you’ve been impacted by the “Kia Boyz” TikTok challenge, it’s important to take action now to secure your vehicle and reach out to Kia or Hyundai for further assistance.

Alex Harrington

Alex started racing at a young age so certainly knows his way around a car and a track. He can just about put a sentence together too, which helps. He has a great interest in the latest models, but would throw all of his money at a rusty old French classic and a 300ZX. Contact: [email protected]
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