Press "Enter" to skip to content

Authorities Warn of TikTok Kia, Hyundai Theft Challenge in East Bay

A viral TikTok Challenge to steal Kias and Hyundais is becoming a huge problem in the East Bay. Authorities are now warning Hyundai and Kia owners to take extra measures.

In the social media challenge, some people steal Kia or Hyundai vehicles that not equipped with an engine immobilizer by using a USB cord to hot wire the car.

“A custodian that I work with at a school, he had mentioned that people are going around stealing Kias. His Kia got stolen recently,” said Daniel Lugo of Vallejo.

In Berkeley, police in the area said since December, Hyundai and Kia vehicles make up 38% of the stolen vehicles.

“The increase that we’ve seen is essentially more than triple the amount that we have seen in the past of Hyundais and Kias being stolen in the system,” said Byron White with the Berkeley Police Department.

Bob Berry of Berry Brother’s Towing & Transport told NBC Bay Area that he usually gets the call to pick up those stolen cars. He said that about 15 or so are in his lot, he keeps watch over with cameras.

“Every day, we have two, three, four. We had 18 in one weekend, that we picked up for various agencies that we work for,” he said.

Berry added for those Kia and Hyundai vehicle owners that some of them have insurance that will cover it and most of that don’t have it.

It’s not just an inconvenience for the car owners but it’s also costly and is about to get worse.

“We just got notice the other day, actually yesterday morning that our insurance is going to increase by 25%. We’re already paying a boat load of money for insurance and so, where do we go for the money? The people that we tow have to pay more,” Berry said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that both Hyundai and Kia have now developed “theft-deterrent” software for vehicles that lack an immobilizer and will provide it for free.

Police said that drivers should get that installed and in the meantime, make it harder for thieves to steal your car by using something like a steering wheel lock.

“The fact that this is a challenge something for people to do. I don’t think people understand like the necessities and people with hard times right now,” said Lugo.

The towing company said if you do own a Hyundai or Kia and can afford it, they recommend those drivers to get comprehensive coverage because they’re hearing from their people they release these cars to said that the repairs can be in the thousands.

Source: NBC Bay Area

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    %d bloggers like this: