A senior living in Summerland, BC, was recently the target of the Kia Boys, who attempted to steal the car using the typical method. The thieves broke a window and jumped in, removing the steering wheel ignition and trying to hotwire the vehicle using a USB cable. They failed, possibly because the Kia Soul was already patched, so the thieves left a message to the owner right on the door.
They used a marker to make it clear the Kia Boys were behind the attempted theft. "Kia Boys failed," the message reads. "Get something else," they told the owner.
The TikTok challenge has put a target on the back of every Hyundai and Kia in the United States, as the thieves don't care about things like the model, the model year, and whether the vehicles might have already received the anti-theft patch.
Hyundai is giving away stickers to patched vehicles so the owners can install them on the side windows, hoping the thieves observe them before breaking into the car. They don't, as they're typically in a rush, so they don't care about anything that could stand in the way of the Internet fame they drool after. In some cases, the Kia Boys even broke into cars with steering wheel locks, obviously failing to steal them.
However, they produce expensive damage, including broken windows and ripped steering wheel columns. Owners end up having to pay hundreds of dollars to repair their cars, and the worst thing is that they sometimes have to do it several times because other Kia Boys come back, trying to steal their vehicles.
Hyundai and Kia urge everybody to install the anti-theft update. It works, the carmakers say, as the software prevents the vehicles from getting stolen. The companies have announced software update clinics across the United States, and owners must bring their vehicles and receive the patch for free. The process takes around 30 minutes.
The two companies also reimburse customers whose cars can't be patched but purchased steering wheel locks to prevent the Kia Boyz from stealing them.
Recent statistics have shown that Hyundai and Kia became the most stolen cars in certain American states, particularly after the TikTok challenge went viral. The insurance cost has also increased significantly, and the resale value of Hyundai and Kia models prone to the TikTok hack has dropped substantially because nobody wants a car that could be broken into for the lulz.