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Kia and Hyundai owners are facing a major wave of theft.  The blame lies on the TikTok challenge

Kia and Hyundai owners are facing a major wave of theft. The blame lies on the TikTok challenge

Owners of some car models from Korean brands Kia and Hyundai are suing automakers over a wave of thefts. The sharp increase in the number of cases is also the reason for a serious challenge that is spreading mainly among young people on Tiktok and other social networks, according to the American television portal CNBC.

He quotes: “In our jurisdiction alone, thefts of some models have increased by more than 800% in the past month” CNBC Tom Dart, mayor of Cook County, which also includes the US city of Chicago.

Similar reports come from other parts of the United States. For example, authorities in Los Angeles claim to have recorded an 85% increase in thefts of Hyundai and Kia cars compared to last year. And in St. Petersburg, Florida police have confirmed that since mid-July, more than a third of all car thefts there have been linked to a challenge posted on the social network TikTok.

The viral challenge encourages some cars to be stolen. Then the petty thieves post videos of their robbery raids and the subsequent road trips through cities and shipwrecks. Videos with the hashtag “Kia Boys” have more than 33 million views.

The crazy challenge specifically applies to some 2010 to 2021 Kia and Hyundai models without the immobilizer still starting with a mechanical switch. A group of young people from Milwaukee discovered that these cars could only be powered using a USB cable similar to the one used to charge phones. Last year, young people published their “discovery” with instructions, thus starting the “Kia Challenge” and the cult of “Kia Boys” among young people.

Police are now on alert across the United States. CNBC investigators have confirmed that the number of cars stolen across the country continues to rise at a rate never seen before.

Sheriff Tom Dart said: “The thieves are mainly young teenagers – some of whom are not old enough to drive legally. They often use stolen cars on road trips or to commit other crimes and then throw them on the side of the road.”

For example, an 11-year-old boy was among the most active thieves in the Chicago area.

It takes 20-30 seconds to break into and start the car. “I looked out the window and realized my car was gone,” said Karen Perkins, owner of the 2019 Kia Sorento.

A few days later, she saw her car driving through an intersection when she stopped at a red light. “I saw a teenage boy sitting in the front. Then I met five kids jumping into my car,” she said.

A few hours later, I found the car wrecked and parked on the side of the road.

The social network TikTok already said in a statement that it does not tolerate “such behavior” and that the entire challenge violates company policies. Once they discover more videos on the platform, they will remove them.

But the aforementioned car companies are also facing problems now. Lawsuits from owners of stolen cars are piling up. Lawyers say manufacturers are taking some of the blame simply for making cars that are very easy to steal.

“Manufacturers have to pay for it,” attorney Ken McClain, whose firm has filed class actions in 12 US states and is preparing to file lawsuits in seven more, told CNBC.

According to the gate Take Crunch A nationwide class action lawsuit was filed against the two auto companies last week. It claims that some Kia cars built between 2011 and 2021 and Hyundai cars built between 2015 and 2021 were “intentionally” built without an immobilizer to save money.

The two automakers declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said that immobilizers will become standard on all of their cars after November 1, 2021.

They added that they are cooperating with the authorities and trying to distribute old but good locks on the steering wheel to owners of endangered models in cooperation with the police. A Hyundai spokesperson added that the company will begin selling a “security” kit to all US dealers in October, which should prevent theft, or at least make it significantly more difficult.

Vack, Tennessee

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