Millions of cars are stolen worldwide, which raises insurance premiums, hurts car owners, and endangers public safety. The recent Kia Boyz thefts in the US are a major issue for Kia and Hyundai owners.
According to the details, some Hyundai and Kia models have easily penetrable security systems that allow thieves to start them without keys. A recent report states that car thefts and vandalism increased as the network of thieves grew across the country. The social media videos have turned Kia and Hyundai car thefts into a grim sport.
Hyundai and Kia are blamed for not including engine immobilizers in their older models. The thieves reportedly use USB cables and screwdrivers to start some of the 2011–2021 models.
The automakers have since published software updates that require actual keys to start cars and sound alarms for longer if thieves try to start them. Although, these fixes arrived too late for many owners who were already robbed.
Insurance companies have refused to cover affected Kia and Hyundai models due to the ‘Kia Boyz’ thefts, aggravating owners’ problems. Due to their low price and absence of security features, these cars have become popular among habitual car-lifters.
TikTok’s Kia Boyz craze has led to a rise in car thefts, vandalism, and accidents in several places. Kia and Hyundai cars accounted for 67% of 10,471 American vehicle thefts in 2021.
Various automotive journalists have grilled Kia and Hyundai, stating that Kia Boyz incidents show that the cars need better protection. Social media has rendered these models more susceptible to theft due to their lack of engine immobilizers.
The firms have made steps to resolve the issue, but whether they can restore faith in their products and win back affected owners is unknown.