Social Media Challenge Prompts Kia And Hyundai Recall Request
If you currently own, or have previously owned, a Kia or Hyundai vehicle, did you know it was apparently easy to steal? There is a social media challenge that shows how to steal Kia and Hyundai vehicles with just a screwdriver and a USB cable.
According to an article written by Associated Press reporters Adam Beam and Tom Krisher on LasVegasSun.com, the Attorneys General of 17 American states as well as the District of Columbia have signed a letter which urges the federal government to recall Kia and Hyundai vehicles because many of them do not have engine immobilizers. This is a feature that is standard on most vehicles which keeps the engine from starting if the key is not present.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta initiated the letter, which has now been signed by the attorneys general from “Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.” Per the AP article, the city of Los Angeles experienced an 85% increase in Kia and Hyundai auto thefts during 2022!
Beam and Krisher report that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) attributes “14 reported crashes and eight deaths” to the viral TikTok social media challenge.
Officials from both South Korean automakers have issued statements which say that their vehicles already “comply with federal safety standards.” Instead of recalling millions of vehicles, they are contacting customers to let them know they will install or update engine immobilizer software on their vehicles to “require the key to be in the ignition switch to turn the car on.”
The story posted on LasVegasSun.com estimates: “About 3.8 million Hyundai cars and 4.5 million Kia cars are eligible for the software update.” If your Kia or Hyundai vehicle has not received the software update or installation, or even if you’re unsure, you should contact the service department at your local dealer as soon as possible.
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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.