US: Theft Of Thousands Of Kia & Hyundai Cars, TikTok Video Behind It

In a strange but alarming situation, a lot of Kia and Hyundai cars in the US are being stolen. Not tens but hundreds of thousands of cars are missing now. And it is all TikToks fault, they say.

It reportedly started with a TikTok video that launched the so-called ‘Kia challenge’: how to, created by user robbierayyy. The user exposed a security flaw in Kia models from 2011 to 2021 and Hyundai models from 2015 to 2021. The challenge first appeared in 2021 and it shows how easily they can easily hijack certain Kia and Hyundai models using just a USB cord.

TikTok has quickly taken those videos down, but the damage was done already by then. In Milwaukee itself, the car thefts have doubled since 2020 and In St-Louis, they spiked 157% from the second half of 2021 to the second half of 2022. Even major metros like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles have seen rapid increases in car thefts.

Major insurance companies like State Farm and Profressive have stopped insuring vulnerable models of KIa and Hyundai. A big number of class-action lawsuits filed around the country are attempting to force the manufacturers to either issue a recall or fix the cars’ vulnerability.