WASHINGTON — After months of reported thefts, Kia and Hyundai have released new anti-theft software designed to help owners keep their cars safe.
This software comes amid an uptick in Hyundai and Kia vehicle thefts across the DMV. Police have attributed many of the thefts to a TikTok social media challenge, which included videos that appeared online showing people how to steal cars from those manufacturers using USB charging cords.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the software updates the theft alarm software logic. It'll extend the length of the alarm song from 30 seconds to one minute and requires the key to be in the ignition switch in order to turn the vehicle on.
The software will be rolled out in a phased approach starting in February and continuing over the next several months.
How to get the free update:
Kia and Hyundai owners who are interested in getting the updated software for free will need to contact Hyundai toll-free at 800-633-5151 or Kia toll-free at 800-333-4542.
In addition to the free software, customers will be given a sticker alerting would-be thieves that the vehicle is equipped with anti-theft protection. The stickers will be sent out as the software updates are rolled out.
Both companies have worked with law enforcement agencies to provide more than 26,000 steering wheel locks since November 22 to 77 law enforcement agencies across 12 states.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced on Tuesday that Hyundai and Kia have developed theft deterrent software for millions of their vehicles.
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