Hyundai and Kia are rolling out software package updates to stem a raft of auto thefts similar to a TikTok obstacle that authorities believe that has led to at minimum 14 reported crashes and eight fatalities in the U.S.
The updates are cost-free for millions of cars that are missing a vital anti-theft system, an challenge that was exploited on social media and led to rampant theft of the automobiles.
The program currently being unveiled updates the theft alarm computer software logic to extend the size of the alarm sound from 30 seconds to one particular moment and calls for the important to be in the ignition swap to change the car or truck on.
About 3.8 million Hyundais and 4.5 million Kias are eligible for the software program update, the National Freeway Website traffic Protection Administration mentioned Tuesday.
Hyundai reported updates commence Tuesday for approximately four million automobiles, commencing with a million product 12 months 2017-2020 Elantras, 2015-2019 Sonatas and 2020-2021 Venues. The software update is scheduled to be obtainable for the remaining suitable automobiles by June.
“We have prioritized the upgrade’s availability for owners and lessees of our greatest-promoting cars and those most focused by robbers in purchase for sellers to company them 1st,” claimed Randy Parker, CEO of Hyundai Motor America.
Kia explained it experienced presently started to update the software package for some vehicles.
Seattle sues automakers following rash of thefts
In September, the Freeway Reduction Data Institute, a unit of the Insurance policy Institute for Freeway Security, observed that Hyundais and Kias without immobilizers had a car or truck theft assert charge of 2.18 for every 1,000 insured auto yrs. The rest of the industry mixed had a rate of 1.21. An insured car year is equal to one auto insured for just one year.
The institute compared cars from the 2015 as a result of 2019 product a long time. It analyzed vehicle theft promises from 2021.
Hyundai states all models created soon after Nov. 1, 2021, have immobilizers as standard devices.
A TikTok social media challenge put a spotlight on the vehicles’ deficiency of an immobilizer and resulted in at minimum 14 noted crashes and eight fatalities, in accordance to the NHTSA. The obstacle exhibits TikTok viewers how to hot-wire Kia and Hyundai cars and trucks with a USB wire and a screwdriver.
Hyundai and Kia will start software program updates later on this month, with subsequent phases over the up coming many months. Hyundai will also give window stickers to auto proprietors that notify would-be robbers that the auto has anti-theft protection.
The Town of Seattle very last thirty day period sued Hyundai and Kia for its failure to put in anti-theft technological know-how on some styles.
“Kia and Hyundai chose to minimize corners and cut expenditures at the expense of their prospects and the public,” mentioned Ann Davison, lawyer for the town, in a assertion. “As a final result, our police force has had to deal with a enormous increase in motor vehicle theft and related issues with presently stretched assets.”
Seattle officials explained thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles in July 2022 were being 503 for each cent and 363 per cent greater, respectively, than the same month the prior 12 months.