RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Police Department joins other local agencies in continuing to warn owners of Kia and Hyundai vehicles of an uptick in targeted thefts.
In 2022, Henrico County Police warned that a viral social media trend was causing an increase in car thefts. The trend, originating on TikTok, utilized the vehicles’ USB cables to override the driving system. According to authorities, Kia and Hyundai vehicles manufactured between 2010 and 2021 were most at-risk for thefts, due to their mechanical ignition keys.
Since then, insurance companies have deemed these Hyundai and Kia vehicles “too easy to steal.” In September 2022, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Kia America and Hyundai Motor America as a result of the thefts.
Earlier this year, both car companies announced that they would be preparing a software upgrade to prevent break-ins using an “ignition kill” feature. Three months later, however, the upgrade does not appear to have deterred thefts.
Now, local law enforcement agencies are continuing to warn Kia and Hyundai owners to take precautions. On Tuesday, May 30, the Richmond Police Department posted on social media, encouraging owners of vulnerable vehicles to use a steering wheel lock.