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Old 3rd August 2022, 13:31   #1
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Default USA: Using just a USB cable, TikTok challenge causes a spike in Kia & Hyundai car thefts

A viral 'Challenge' on social media has caused a spike in car thefts, specifically of Kia and Hyundai models across the USA.

USA: Using just a USB cable, TikTok challenge causes a spike in Kia & Hyundai car thefts-kiastinger.jpg

The video called 'Kia Challenge', shows how a Kia or Hyundai car can be stolen by using just a USB cable and removing the cowl under the steering column. The spike in Kia and Hyundai car thefts has become particularly prevalent in the state of Milwaukee, where a group of youngsters (Kia Boys) has become notorious for stealing cars and going on joyrides.

Also, the police department of St. Petersburg, Florida stated that 23 of the 56 cars stolen since July 11 are either Kia or Hyundai models that are MY2021 and older. St. Paul, Minnesota is said to have reported a 1300% rise in thefts for Kia cars and an 854% rise for Hyundais compared to last year. Similarly, Michigan has also reported that Hyundai and Kia cars made up roughly 45% of car thefts in June 2022.

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The police stated that Kia cars produced between 2011 and 12 and Hyundai cars manufactured between 2015 and 2021 are the most vulnerable, as their ignition can be bypassed easily.

Source: CarScoops

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Last edited by RahulNagaraj : 3rd August 2022 at 13:34.
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Old 3rd August 2022, 15:20   #2
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Default Re: USA: Using just a USB cable, TikTok challenge causes a spike in Kia & Hyundai car thefts

I don't see anything useful come out of Tik Tok Challenges. It is a nuisance and it is high time the elected officials of the USA ban the App completely. Not being political here, but is it not obvious by now that something as serious as car theft passes on as a trivial and harmless, so called "Challenge" with no consequences? What next? "House-theft challenge"?
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Old 3rd August 2022, 15:32   #3
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Default Re: USA: Using just a USB cable, TikTok challenge causes a spike in Kia & Hyundai car thefts

So apparently hyundai quietly deleted the engine immobilizer from their cars to save costs thinking no one will try to hotwire it since thieves expect all modern cars to have a factory fitted immobiliser. Some kids apparently figured it out and now they are taking these cars for a joyride until they run out of fuel and then abandoning them. Typical hyundai, make a car that initially beats its competitors and gets people's trust and then the moment it starts being popular, massively and unethically cut costs on things everyone takes for granted. In India, it was the white paint flaking off issue, the brake failures on the Cretas and the now the unstable body shells of its current best sellers including the Seltos.
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Old 4th August 2022, 01:24   #4
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Default Re: USA: Using just a USB cable, TikTok challenge causes a spike in Kia & Hyundai car thefts

Seems like these brands are out there to nickel and dime you to death. Immobilizer now? Fuse box next?
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Old 4th August 2022, 17:03   #5
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Default Re: USA: Using just a USB cable, TikTok challenge causes a spike in Kia & Hyundai car thefts

TikTok is a Chinese firm’s application. If this app encourages such acts, why is it not banned in the USA? Its a pity, such apps are being taken up seriously by youngsters. Might not be surprising if the next is house break challenge, jail break challenge and what not.
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Old 4th August 2022, 18:40   #6
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Default Re: USA: Using just a USB cable, TikTok challenge causes a spike in Kia & Hyundai car thefts

This is ridiculous!

TikTok challenges are insane. Stealing cars is a vey unethical thing but not only that, there are/were a few trends that got people killed. The trend where two people kick the legs of the person in between when she/he is in the air to make them fall backwards was a very deadly challenge. Numerous people lost their lives cause of skull injuries as their head hit the ground very hard.

I still don't get why TikTok isn't banned in the US. Sure it's a source of income for some people but the insane and useless challenges and trends like these are not filtered out and reach the masses, stupid people try their hand at these trends and the society regrets. The age of Social Media has both pros and cons.

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Old 5th August 2022, 11:51   #7
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Default Re: USA: Using just a USB cable, TikTok challenge causes a spike in Kia & Hyundai car thefts

Honestly, I feel it's a good thing we have platforms like TikTok that are able to expose shortcomings like these. I don't understand why most BHPians are accusing TikTok and not Hyundai+Kia. Although I have never used TikTok in my life and never was a fan of the content over the platform, these issues would have gone under the radar (and limited to car thieves) rather than being highlighted to public if it wasn't for TikTok, which can enable the current owners be more prepared about this and look for a more superior protection.

In addition, it's the integrity of such users which needs criticism rather than the platform for spreading a genuine vulnerability. Clearly, Hyundai+Kia are at fault here who failed to make their anti-theft systems idiot proof.
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Old 5th August 2022, 13:21   #8
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Default Re: USA: Using just a USB cable, TikTok challenge causes a spike in Kia & Hyundai car thefts

Quote:
Originally Posted by hdman View Post
I don't understand why most BHPians are accusing TikTok and not Hyundai+Kia.
Hyundai+Kia been doing these kind of shenanigans forever. While I understand these companies do not have any moral ground to stand, TikTok trends are encouraging someone (it is usually teens) to steal a car just for some internet clout. Now it is teens stealing cars for joyride, but next it can extend to anything.

A company cheapening out its cars is less harmful than internet trends that encourage criminal behaviors.
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Old 5th August 2022, 13:42   #9
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Default Re: USA: Using just a USB cable, TikTok challenge causes a spike in Kia & Hyundai car thefts

Quote:
Originally Posted by prajwalmr62 View Post
TikTok trends are encouraging someone (it is usually teens) to steal a car just for some internet clout. Now it is teens stealing cars for joyride, but next it can extend to anything.
While I do understand that this trend has become a "fun" thing to do for the kids and TikTok can be seen to encourage this, I think this situation highlights the perils of freedom of speech. However, I wouldn't simply blame TikTok in this case, this is a issue much deeper than just a fault of one company, rather a fault of society by and large - with Hyundai+Kia failing to live up to people's trust, regular people struggling with their ethical duties and overlooking social responsibilities, TikTok not realising the power it commands and regulators (both media and auto, in this case) not realising they are still living in the 20th century.
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Old 5th August 2022, 14:05   #10
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Default Re: USA: Using just a USB cable, TikTok challenge causes a spike in Kia & Hyundai car thefts

Quote:
Originally Posted by hdman View Post
Honestly, I feel it's a good thing we have platforms like TikTok that are able to expose shortcomings like these.
I agree with you entirely. What auto-journalist and car-magazines couldn't help uncover was exposed by a bunch of teenagers (with semi-malicious intents) through a popular social media platform. By calling for bans on TikTok you are merely stifling the freedom of speech offered by it. There is so much more to TikTok than just mere challenges like this one, and the "challenges" that you decree as hurtful are usually just dance challenges, ie, kids doing dances in front of their cellphones to broadcast it to people they wish to do so to. There are plenty problems that come associated with such a platform, but that's a discussion for another day.

This only brings to light the levels to which automakers are willing to stoop to in order to cut costs and maximise profits, and I think that is where our collective anger should be directed at. This is the same partner-companies that offer sub-standard products to India (compared to their own models abroad) in terms of safety, and to see them doing this in the USA only makes me wonder where else they've cut costs for India.
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Old 5th August 2022, 16:57   #11
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Default Re: USA: Using just a USB cable, TikTok challenge causes a spike in Kia & Hyundai car thefts

Quote:
TikTok is a Chinese firmís application. If this app encourages such acts, why is it not banned in the USA?
Rightly said. If Tik Tok can be banned in India why can't it be banned in the US? After all it is for the sake of the society. These kind of apps are provocating youths to follow the wrong path; take the example of this awful game called Blue whale challenge which was later on banned everywhere.

This type of creativity is diverting youths toward easy success without any struggle and then they can not handle the tough situations if came across.


my 2 cents.
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Old 5th August 2022, 23:01   #12
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Default Re: USA: Using just a USB cable, TikTok challenge causes a spike in Kia & Hyundai car thefts

I am happy that these challenges exist. Although the intent here is semi malicious, it does expose the vulnerabilities left in the car by the manufacturer.

In fact, cars with more and more electronics on board should do what typical product firms do, send the copies to independent test labs and reward them for finding vulnerabilities so these could be fixed before the same could be exploited by malicious elements.

Something that companies like Apple Google regularly do.

Also, seems like class action lawsuit has been filed in US holding KIA and Hyundai responsible for placing profits ahead of safety of their cars and intentionally omitting references to lack of engine immobilizer.

Last edited by theflyingguy : 5th August 2022 at 23:15. Reason: Added more details
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