The Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge is a recent social media trend that has caught law enforcement officials’ attention across the United States. This challenge, which consists of using a USB cable and a phone to hot-wire and steal a Kia or Hyundai car and posting a video of the joyride hoping for viral attention, is growing in popularity.
So, as you can imagine, Kia and Hyundai vehicle owners with vehicles from 2011 – 2021 are driving around with more precaution than usual. The problem is a vulnerability in Hyundai and Kia family vehicles with a key entry and start system instead of the higher-tech intelligent key fob for keyless entry and pushbutton start.
All the thieves must do is remove the steering column cover, release the wheel lock, use a USB cable and phone to override the system, and drive off. And before you think, “what about the factory chip key immobilizer?” the mentioned models don’t have a transponder chip. So, if you’re parking your 2011-2021 Kia or Hyundai on the street at night, it could soon be a TikTok star, and you may never find it or, at best, find it damaged beyond repair.
How Did the Kia Boyz TikTok Challenge Start?
The Kia Boyz TikTok challenge started in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 2021 and is still spreading. This month, LA officials said that the trend led to an 85% increase in Kia and Hyundai thefts compared to last year. To combat this trend, police departments are urging consumers to invest in a GPS recovery system for their vehicles. But what is a car GPS recovery system? And why do you need one?
A GPS recovery system is a device installed in your vehicle that allows you to track its real-time location. This is especially useful if your car is stolen, as you can see exactly where it is and provide this information to the police. With car thefts on the rise even outside of TikTok car theft trends, it is so important for consumers to have a car GPS tracker if they want to protect their investments.
However, even with factory-installed systems, having a GPS device is only as good as the ability to retrieve it quickly. Finding it on your own is challenging and dangerous and nearly impossible if you don’t have a connected car. When thefts are over 800%, as in Chicago, getting an already overloaded police department to track down your unprotected vehicle isn’t going to be a priority. And manufacturer-monitored systems aren’t often any better, especially on newly purchased vehicles. New studies say that OEM-connected cars can even be easier to steal because of poor security.
What About Keyless Car Theft?
You don’t have to own a 2011-2021 key start Kia to be a victim of car theft. Even the latest tech keyless cars can be stolen without a key fob. Someone outside your home can steal your key fob transmitter signal code, and you won’t know the vehicle is missing until the following day. Police in the UK reported that keyless car theft happens in less than two minutes — this CNN video shows that it doesn’t take long.
However, there’s a better way to protect your car.
Protect Your Car with Elo GPS
Beyond just locating your vehicle, Elo GPS’ Nationwide 24/7 Vehicle Recovery Hotline helps you recover your car faster. The Elo GPS average recovery time is under four hours. Our dedicated team of trained recovery specialists help you navigate through the reporting and recovery process to attempt to get your car back as quickly as possible before it is severely damaged or stripped for parts.
To learn more about car theft prevention and recovery with Elo GPS, connect with our team to find a dealership near you.