US TikTok “Kia Challenge” exposes some Hyundai and Kia models – can be stolen with just a USB cable

Kia Challenge

You may have seen some action or gangster movies where boosting a car is as easy as it gets. Back in the day, the basic way of stealing a car is by unplugging two wires under the steering wheel. Once the two wires come out, you just need to put them together and off you go. Although the scene in movies looks simple, it is absolutely unrealistic in today’s world, even if you can really short-circuit the car. However, a so-called “Kia Challenge” has sprung up on TikTok and YouTube. Simply put, some Hyundai or Kia models only need a USB cable to boot successfully. 

Kia Challenge

Of course, this is essentially a car theft. Therefore, the number of Kia model theft cases in the United States in recent days can make the police worry. The St Petersburg Police Department lamented on Twitter. The official Twitter account wrote 

“KIA & Hyundai Theft Alert!#stpete pd is seeing an unusual trend. Since July 11th, 23 out of 56 stolen cars have been Kia/Hyundais models 2021 and older,that use keys to start. Anyone with a KIA/Hyundai that uses a key, **please**”

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According to the challenge, the phenomenon makes for a real, but very absurd, scenario, as most of the offenders, are teenagers. They call themselves “Kia Boys” and even have social media accounts dedicated to posting corresponding videos. However, this “Kia Challenge” is simply car theft. 

Kia Challenge

Kia Challenge is really dangerous

In addition, part of the “USB Theft” challenge involves “destroying a stolen vehicle in the most spectacular way possible”. Thus, in some cases, this also involves causing a car damage incident. For now, this trend started in Milwaukee, and it still looks like a recurring crime challenge. Kia and Hyundai models are said to account for two-thirds of such cases, a roughly 2,500 per cent increase from before the Kia Challenge.

In addition to the aforementioned regions, similar thefts and incidents have occurred in other parts of the United States. Some of these cases have had some of the more tragic consequences, such as several incidents resulting in serious injury or even death of bystanders. Kia and Hyundai have issued a statement to USA Today saying that they have been informed of these incidents. Both companies claim that the “USB data cable unlocking” method is no longer applicable to new models. They further claim that all their vehicles “meet or exceed” U.S. motor vehicle safety standards.

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