Kia and Hyundai Thefts Increase Thanks to Viral Video
Aug. 22, 2022—Viral videos on the popular TikTok app have led to an increase in Kia and Hyundai thefts and damage.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis, Missouri, area is one of the communities in the country feeling the impact of these crimes. People have been targeting Kia and Hyundai models after a video went viral on TikTok from a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, gang called the "Kia Boyz."
In the viral video, it is shown how to break into these cars with a screwdriver and USB charging cable. The models being targeted have key ignitions.
Sgt. Gerald Shepard is the head of the St. Louis County police Auto Theft Task Force. He said that the task force has responded to 50 Kia thefts and 50 Hyundai thefts across the county in the first 11 days of August.
St. Louis police Sgt. Charles Wall said that there were investigations into 1,000 vehicle thefts in July 2022 in the city, and 634 of those thefts were either Kia or Hyundai models.
To help mitigate this ongoing problem, it is being recommended that drivers remove valuables from their cars and consider placing a car club on their steering wheels.
Beyond Missouri, there is also a federal class action lawsuit in Iowa against Kia and Hyundai. The lawsuit claims that the automakers have not met federal standards in regards to ignition systems. Kia and Hyundai have made statements that disagree with this claim.