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‘Kia Boyz’ Shows Teens Using USB Cords To Steal Kia & Hyundai Vehicles

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'Kia Boyz' Shows How To USB Cords To Steal Kia & Hyundai Cars In Viral TikTok Videos

‘Kia Boyz’ Shows How To USB Cords To Steal Kia & Hyundai Cars In Viral TikTok Videos

A viral TikTok challenge called “Kia Boyz” exhibits how USB charging cords can start up cars that have push-start buttons. Videos broadcasted by accounts on TikTok show people popping out the push-to-start button and using USB cords to start cars and take off.

A statement issued to NBC News by a Kia spokesperson on Monday said that the company is aware of the rise in vehicle thefts.

“All 2022 models and trims have an immobilizer applied either at the beginning of the year or as a running change. All Kia vehicles for sale in the U.S. meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards,” the statement reads.

Thieves have targeted KIA models from 2011 to 2021 and Hyundai models from 2015 to 2021 because of a “vulnerability” that allows them to remove the steering column cover, then use a USB cable to steal the car. The vandals can quickly release the wheel lock, then use the USB cable to override the system, turn it like a key, and drive off.

If your Hyundai or KIA falls in the years mentioned above and does not have a push-to-start button, it’ll be easy to steal.

Why is this happening? Well, these models do not include a factory-installed anti-theft device called an immobilizer. In many modern cars, immobilizers use a transponder chip to authenticate a key against a vehicle’s ECU. Without one, well, the results are apparent.

To make matters worse, this is a trend on social media. The so-called “KIA Boyz” are stealing cars and posting videos to YouTube, and there’s even a “Kia Challenge” trend on TikTok. You can’t make this stuff up.

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