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Hyundai and KIA Settle for $200 Million Over TikTok Car Thefts

Reach out to KIA for a free steering wheel lock.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe on a highway

Last summer, a huge TikTok viral challenge caused quite a stir when people figured out how easy it was to steal select Hyundai and KIA vehicles. Following a class-action lawsuit, the two automakers have agreed to pay a $200 million fine to theft victims.

Hyundai announced a free anti-theft software update to solve the problem back in February. KIA did something similar, recalling select models for quick repairs at the dealership or an authorized service center. That said, tons of vehicles were vandalized, stolen, and even damaged or totaled due to the situation.

Earlier this week, Hyundai Motor America and Kia America, Inc. announced they have agreed to resolve class action litigation with select vehicle owners. Those include models with push-button ignitions and immobilizing anti-theft devices.

The settlement, which is reportedly worth up to $200 million, covers multiple Hyundai and KIA models between 2011 and 2022. Some of those include the Elantra, Santa Fe, Tuscon, Genesis Coupe, and many others. Around $145 million will go directly to customers with losses or heavy damage, especially those without full-coverage insurance.

In the press release, the chief legal officer of Hyundai Motor North America, Jason Erb, had this to say about the situation.

“We appreciate the opportunity to provide additional support for our owners who have been impacted by increasing and persistent criminal activity targeting our vehicles. Customer security remains a top priority, and we’re committed to continuing software upgrade installations and steering wheel lock distribution to help prevent thefts and offering insurance options through AAA for those who have had difficulty securing and sustaining coverage.”

Hyundai and KIA have provided “tens of thousands” of free steering wheel locks to affected customers. They will continue working to resolve the situation, along with paying the settlement mentioned above.

For those unaware, the “KIA Boyz” challenge that started all this was wildly simple. Thieves could remove the steering column cover, then use nothing but a USB cable to turn the ignition and steal cars.

Source: Hyundai News

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »