Recently there has been a surge in stolen cars, most of which are Kia and Hyundai models. So what makes these cars easy to target and how can owners of these vehicles protect them? We’ll explain about these thefts, how to best prevent them, and the response of Kia and Hyundai. To just learn how to protect your car visit the third section titled “How You Can Protect Your Kia Or Hyundai“.
What Started These Thefts?
The spike in Kia and Hyundai thefts seems to have started after a group called the “Kia Boys/Kia Boyz” started posting videos on how easy it is to steal these cars. This sparked a nefarious trend where thieves film themselves stealing and joyriding these vehicles, but it has now developed into more dangerous circumstances.
Just in St. Louis Missouri there have been 3,813 cars reported stolen already within this year. Nearly half of these stolen vehicles are Kia and Hyundai models. In the month of June 520 Kia and Hyundai models were reported stolen, followed by 687 in July. This amounts to over 1,200 Kia and Hyundai owners who have fallen victim to these thefts within just a two month time frame.
What’s more alarming is that these car thieves aren’t using the stolen vehicles for joyriding anymore… These stolen Hyundai and Kia vehicles have been being used to commit smash and grab crimes at St. Louis dispensary as well as shootings. It has become a far more serious matter than the Tik-Tok and YouTube trend it started as. Police are doing what they can to prevent the thefts working with Kia and Hyundai to target the issues.
How Are They Able To Steal The Cars?
Hyundai models between 2011 and 2021 along with Kia models between 2015 and 2021 are the vehicles being targeted. These vehicles lack three main security features that prevent cars from being easily broken into and started without a key.
- No blinking alarm indicator light
- No auditory alarm when rear windows break
- No starter interrupt to immobilize the engine
The first flaw is a lack of visual deterrent like a blinking dash-mounted alarm light. This indicates to experienced thieves that a loud noise will go off if broken into.
Second is that the windows are not well protected by the vehicles existing security system. This means no auditory deterrent, like an alarm siren, goes off when the rear windows are precisely broken. Due to this short coming crooks can get into your car without drawing attention.
The third and final flaw is that there are no starter interrupts, starter kills, or some kind of engine immobilizers. As a result, once thieves break into these cars they can remove the steering wheel cover and start the car with a screwdriver or USB cord. After which they can drive off and use your vehicle for their own purposes.
Is Your Vehicle Vulnerable?
This DOES NOT impact every Kia and Hyundai. The following will tell you if your car is at risk of theft:
- Any Kia model between 2011 – 2021
- Any Hyundai model between 2015 – 2021
- It has a physical key ignition not a push to start
- It doesn’t already have an aftermarket security upgrade
How You Can Protect Your Kia Or Hyundai
To improve the security on your Kia or Hyundai then you’ll need to invest in a new security system that addresses the previously mentioned issues. Here at VIP we offer the Prestige security and keyless entry system. Other auto shops may offer something similar, but there are three key things you want from your security system to actually fix the vehicles problems.
- A dash-mounted alarm indicating LED
- Improved shock sensors
- A starter interrupt
First off the LED alarm indicator lets potential thieves know there is an aftermarket alarm installed, so that they don’t even try to break your windows.
If that doesn’t deter them then the addition of shock sensors will pick-up disruptions to the car, like broken windows, and set of the car alarm. In which case the thief often won’t risk sticking around to get caught.
Finally the starter interrupt is the last line of defense against car theft. This feature prevents the car from being started until the alarm is disarmed with the key fob. This means any thieves won’t be able to drive away in your vehicle. The system is armed and disarmed with the simple click of a key fob.
These security systems do require wiring and are recommended to be installed by a professional auto technician. When we install these products we offer a 36,000 mile 3 year warranty on the materials and labor involved during the install. Make sure if you go to a shop that they warranty their work!
If you’re in the St. Louis Missouri area contact us to schedule and appointment!
Kia And Hyundai’s Response To The Thefts
In response to the vehicles widely public engineering failures, many have questioned how such a vulnerable design was released to the public. Kia has responded by acknowledging theses issues and assuring that security and safety are some of their top concerns. New Kia models feature improved security systems that prevent these issues.
However these older Kia models still meet Federal safety regulations and no recalls to date have been issued. Instead Kia and Hyundai have been donating steering wheel locks to the St. Louis police department in a means to help prevent further theft. These locks can serve as an additional visual deterrent and added level of difficulty, but they don’t fully resolve the issue. Not to mention these locks are cumbersome to deal with every time you leave your vehicle.
As for repairs and tows related to these thefts, the victim is left to foot the bill. This demand for repair also means that parts such as rear windows are now in high demand and back ordered.
We hope this article informed you on the issue at hand and how to keep your vehicle safe. Stay in touch through our socials for more helpful auto news and custom vehicle content!
Looking to customize or protect your Kia or Hyundai? We offer aftermarket accessories internationally and services across the contiguous U.S. to help you get your car exactly how you want it. Reach out if you’d like a quote for your vehicle!