They Don't Care: Kia Boys Break Into 2021 Model, Realize It's a Push to Start

Kia Boys not caring about the model year as long as it's a Kia 10 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/reddit user TheGodPoet
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The update announced by Hyundai and Kia earlier this year was supposed to resolve the viral TiKTok challenge that put a target on the back of every customer. Fast forward to late 2023, and here we are, still reporting about thefts and vehicles damaged by teenagers who believe it's cool to steal someone's car for views.
Hyundai and Kia are working around the clock on patching vehicles, and customers themselves try to keep thieves away by installing special hardware, including steering wheel locks and stickers to warn of trackers.

But the worst thing after the TikTok hack went viral is that everyone owning a Hyundai or a Kia became a target. It doesn't even matter what model they own because as long as they park a car produced by the South Koreans in front of their houses, they could be the next target.

The lack of an immobilizer is an issue only on specific Hyundai and Kia models, and push-to-start versions aren't affected.

However, the Kia Boyz don't have the time or the desire to do a little research before breaking into the cars they find parked on the side of the road. As a result, they sometimes smash the window of cars that can't even be stolen with the infamous TikTok hack, producing damage that costs enough to make owners think of selling their cars and getting models from other brands.

Someone on reddit says the Kia Boys broke into their 2021 Kia K5 LXS without even checking if the vehicle is equipped with a button to start the engine. They smashed a rear window, opened the car, and when they realized it was a push to start, they ran away, even leaving their highly complex robbery hardware (the USB cable) behind. It's not like it costs a fortune anyway, as a USB cable can be had for just $1 on the likes of AliExpress.

The owner is happy the vehicle wasn't stolen, admitting "it could have gone way worse," but the broken window will still cost a few hundred dollars. Plus, they have no guarantee they won't become a target again, as other teenagers hungry for Internet fame could attempt to break into their cars without checking if it's a push to start.

Meanwhile, Hyundai and Kia urge customers to patch their cars, setting up dedicated software update clinics across the United States. Hyundai emphasizes the update works, but the sticker the company provides to customers doesn't seem to help much, as the Kia Boys don't look for such warnings in the first place.

A steering wheel lock and probably much larger stickers and warnings placed on the car could keep the Boys away from any Hyundai and Kia, but for now, everybody having a model from the South Korean carmakers has a gigantic target on their back.
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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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