15YO Kia Boy Steals Car, Crashes It Into the First Pole He Sees

Hyundai and Kia are working around the clock on installing the anti-theft software on as many vehicles as possible, but it doesn't mean the TikTok challenge is coming to an end.
One more Kia boy receives a good lesson 10 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/WHEC
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Teenagers still find it ridiculously exciting to steal cars and crash them minutes later, though a 15-year-old boy from Rochester, New York, discovered the hard way that the TikTok challenge has nothing in common with these words. If anything, stealing a car and crashing into the first pole you find on the road puts your life at risk.

The boy stole a Kia SUV using the infamous method that became viral on TikTok. Due to the lack of immobilizers, certain Hyundai and Kia models can be stolen using a simple USB cable. Thieves break into vehicles, typically by smashing a side window, rip off the steering column cover, and connect the USB cable to start the engine.

The theft takes only a few seconds, so someone who knows what they do can drive away in your Kia in less than a minute. The 15YO rushed to escape unnoticed but rapidly lost control of the SUV and hit a utility pole on Tremont Street.

Local media reports that the first responders found the boy with serious injuries and had to be cut out of the car as he was stuck in the wreckage. The emergency teams eventually got the boy out and rushed him to the hospital, where he's now stable.

The 15-year-old boy is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He also damaged another SUV parked on the side of the road.

Hyundai and Kia call for customers to deploy the anti-theft software patch as soon as possible, explaining that vehicles running it can no longer be stolen. Unfortunately, the Kia Boys don't seem to care about the patch, so they ignore all signs that a vehicle can't be stolen and still break inside. They eventually produce damage worth hundreds or thousands of dollars before leaving empty-handed.

Steering wheel locks sometimes keep them away from the car, especially if they take a second to look inside.

Hyundai and Kia reimburse customers whose vehicles can't receive the patch but are now equipped with steering wheel locks. Police in some regions also gave away steering wheel locks and warned that parking the car outside could expose the vehicle if it wears a Hyundai or Kia badge.

The carmakers have announced software update clinics across the United States, inviting customers to install the patch at no cost. The process takes approximately 30 minutes, and the companies also give away stickers that warn thieves the vehicles have already been patched and the TikTok hack doesn't work.

The company did not reveal how many vulnerable vehicles received the patch, but considering these reports, it's obvious many cars are still vulnerable.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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