The tutorial shows how you can start the ignition of a car with a simple USB cable. The USB cable trick originated in the USA. Kia and Hyundai models are affected. Especially models from Kia from the years of construction 2011 to November 2021 and from Hyundai from the years of construction 2015 to November 2021. These videos are then uploaded to platforms such as TikTok under the hashtag “Kia Challenge”. The challenge comes from the American state of Milwaukee, where the first video tutorial was also recorded. Since then, the Kia and Hyundai theft rate has increased rapidly.
US website shares shocking auto theft numbers
According to US website The Truth About Cars, the rate of stolen Kia and Hyundai cars has increased dramatically. Police reported that a total of 3,495 cars were stolen in the city of Milwaukee in 2019. At that time, only 6 percent of the stolen vehicles were from the two manufacturers. Two years later, nearly 11,000 cars were stolen, 67 percent of which were Kia and Hyundai models.
The thieves use a weak point in the on-board electronics. Data from the local police showed that cars of both brands are among the most frequently stolen vehicles. The US website “Cars and Driver” reports that in neighboring towns the car theft rate is exploding.
Both manufacturers promise a quick fix
Hyundai said they will try to fix it. The owners of all affected vehicles produced after November 2021 will be retrofitted with an immobilizer. From October 2022, a safety set will be available for pre-owned Hyundai cars. This should then prevent USB theft.
The automobile manufacturer Kia will also equip all vehicles produced in the future with an immobilizer. At the same time, the manufacturer announced that the majority of all models are already delivered with a transponder as a key. Curious: One piece of advice from the police is that Kia and Hyundai owners should not leave a USB cable in their car or leave it lying around.