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Kia Patches the "Kia Boyz" Patch, "Updated Upgrade" Now Available

You'd think a carmaker the size of Kia would be able to resolve the nightmare caused by the Kia Boyz trend, but it turns out that not even the parent company can get its software update rights.
Kia has released a patch for its Kia Boyz update 21 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Kia
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Kia has started sending out letters to a bunch of customers to inform them that an "updated anti-theft software upgrade" is now available at no cost.

The reason is as simple as possible: the original patch needs a patch, as the update did not resolve the glitch as expected. Kia's software update was supposed to restrict the vehicle's operation (we detailed how the original software update aimed to block the Kia Boyz in February), but the carmaker says it discovered some cars did not receive "the correct version of the software."

The company uses the typical PR language that makes the matter seem less critical, so customers are told their vehicles are "one of the few model year vehicles for which we have identified an issue." Kia emphasizes that the original software update served its purpose on "hundreds of thousands of other Kia model vehicles."

The letter indicates that the software update is aimed at 2018-2021 MY Kia Rios. It will be conducted free of charge (obviously!), and customers have up to 18 months to install it. Kia tells car owners to book an appointment with a dealer until May 1, 2025, using caps to remind everybody that "THIS IS A LIMITED TIME OFFER."

It almost sounds like a letter sent by a Nigerian prince, but it's real. Kia must patch its patch, and if you receive the notification, you should schedule a visit to the dealership to install it.

The company says the process shouldn't take more than two hours, and once the new software version is installed, you'll also get the famous sticker supposed to keep the Boyz away.

Meanwhile, Kia's efforts seem rather ineffective, as customers keep complaining that their cars are stolen from their front porches. Some say the software update is ineffective, so they turn to additional hardware, such as AirTags and steering wheel locks, to prevent a thief from driving away in their cars.

Oddly enough, someone says on reddit that not the latest software update (the patched anti-theft upgrade) works correctly. They claim the update couldn't be installed on a 2012 Rio, so the dealer decided to install a car alarm and a push button kit to protect the vehicle.

It's unclear if other Kia models will be included in this second attempt to fix the madness, but the company reminds customers that it has a web portal where everybody can check the status of the software upgrade by simply providing the VIN code of the vehicle.
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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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