Secure Your Car in Light of the Tik Tok Challenge

May 18, 2023

It seems that if you’ve seen one social media challenge, you’ve seen them all but rarely do we see teenagers using their smartphones to steal cars for fun and then posting their illegal shenanigans to Tik Tok. We’re not sure if this is the legal system’s dream or nightmare but it’s a problem that has a few solutions. 

How & Why Vehicle Theft is Happening

Due to an unfortunate oversight and a lack of an immobilizer (hardware that prevents the engine from starting until the proper key is presented), it is incredibly easy to steal certain Kias and Hyundais (see below) using only a USB cord and a screwdriver. Thanks to a TikTok video that went viral nearly one year ago which taught viewers how to hack the vehicles, the Chicago police reported a 767% increase in vehicle theft, and millions of vehicles are involved nationwide. Susceptible vehicles include: 

  • 2017-2020 Elantra
  • 2015-2019 Sonata
  • 2020-2021 Venue
  • 2011-2021 Kias
  • 2015-2021 Hyundais

The car makers have responded by installing anti-theft updates including deterrent stickers, giving away more than 26,000 steering wheel locks, installing longer alarms, and replacing push starts with physical key ignitions. By June, there will be updates for other affected vehicles and you can find the whole list on Hyundai’s website. Learn more about eligible software upgrades

List of cars broken into and fix availability

What You Can Do to Secure Your Vehicle

Whether you own a Kia, Hyundai, or something else, it’s a good idea to be proactive about your car’s safety. No vehicles are off limits, and even the best insurance does not prevent the headache and stress that comes with having a stolen vehicle. These are the things you can do to prevent grand theft auto. 

  • Go to your local dealer if you haven’t already to install the latest updates 
  • Utilize your steering wheel lock every time you leave your vehicle
  • Never leave the keys in or near your vehicle
  • Keep valuables out of sight (or remove them from the vehicle altogether)
  • Install a GPS vehicle tracking/security system
  • Purchase a smart home system so you can monitor your garage door (to ensure it’s always closed), entry doors, and lights, especially while away
  • Install security cameras on your property to deter or potentially catch car thieves (view live footage on up to six cameras at once)
  • When shopping for a new car, ask about its anti-theft features
  • Park where there is camera coverage (e.g. seek out cameras in parking lots) and well lit 

A car is a big purchase and not one most can afford to have taken away. Utilize these security measures to keep your vehicle safe from everyday car thieves or those having fun on social media. To instill peace of mind, contact us about setting up smart home and security camera measures.