And it’s all thanks to a social media-fueled crime spree…
There’s no doubt 2022 has been a wild year, but if you somehow have on your bingo card people in Florida suing Hyundai and Kia for a social media trend you might be closer to winning something. That’s right, owners of cars from the two Korean brands are mad about their being too easy to steal, blaming the lack of an engine immobilizer for their woes. As we’ve covered before, the Kia Boyz, which started among teens and pre-teens in Milwaukee about two years ago, have used social media to spread the word about how easy it is to boost Kias and Hyundais.
Check out our original coverage of the Kia Boyz here.
Now you have kids as young as 10 stealing these budget-friendly vehicles so they can go on joyrides, commit other crimes, or sell them. While it all started in the Great Lakes and spread like wildfire there, posts on TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites have inspired youth in other parts of the country to join in on the criminal fun.
Shockingly, all it takes to steal certain Kia, Hyundai, and other brands’ models is a screwdriver and a USB phone charger. This is a far cry from the incredibly expensive computers used to reprogram the ignition on something like a Dodge Hellcat, allowing just about anyone to become Nicholas Cage in Gone In 60 Seconds. Plus, instead of taking minutes, this method requires minimal skills and mere seconds to pull off.
According to the Miami Herald, the class action suit in question was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa on August 4. According to police, certain Kia models made from 2011 to 2021 and certain Hyundai models made from 2015 to 2021 lack an engine immobilizer, making them particularly easy to steal.
This class action lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai isn’t the only one of its kind. Another one has been filed in Ohio. Hyundai is trying to make things right for vehicle owners, announcing that a security kit will be available for purchase at Hyundai dealers starting on October 1.
Images via Kia, Hyundai