The robberies began as a viral TikTok problem the place thieves, predominantly younger boys who select to be distinguished because the “KIA Boys,” have been hotwiring sure KIA and Hyundai automobile fashions utilizing a USB cable. It’s because the plagued fashions lack a vital element known as an ignition immobilizer, answerable for chopping off the gas provide to the engine in case somebody makes an attempt to begin the automobile with out the precise key.
Because of the viral TikTok pattern, a number of thieves have joined in to carjack the affected fashions and unfold the phrase additional. Most of those fashions affected by the flaw use mechanical keys and never sensible key fobs.
By the way, many insurance coverage corporations “briefly” stopped providing protection for the affected fashions owing to their lack of anti-theft options. Regardless of warnings from a number of state and metropolis police departments, there isn’t a nationwide tally of the variety of robberies because the pattern went viral. However in January 2023, Progressive, one of many main insurance coverage corporations, instructed CNN that these automobiles had been 20 instances extra more likely to be stolen. It was one of many corporations to restrict the sale of latest insurance policies for the affected automobiles.