TikTok car theft challenge targeting Kia, Hyundai owners keeping LASD on high alert

Heads up if you own a Kia or Hyundai

You may have heard about the TikTok challenge that has thieves targeting certain makes and models of 2010-2021 Kia and Hyundai vehicles. 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department continues to be on high alert as the dangerous TikTok craze has all but ceased.

According to authorities, thieves are targeting vehicles that use a mechanical key, not a push-button or key fob to start the car. The thieves - who are mostly young teens - then use a USB cord to hot wire the car. 

The teen thieves then post videos of themselves stealing and driving the cars on TikTok using the hashtag "Kia Boys," which at last check had millions of views on the social media platform. 

Hyundai Motor America spokesperson Ira Gabriel told Fox News Digital in a statement that it "is concerned about the recent rise in auto thefts of certain Hyundai model vehicles."

"While all of our vehicles meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, unfortunately, our vehicles have been targeted in a coordinated effort on social media. Criminals are targeting our vehicles without engine immobilizers. Immobilizers became standard on all vehicles produced after Nov. 1, 2021," Gabriel said.

To help Hyundai owners whose vehicles do not have an immobilizer, "Hyundai has been working with and will continue to support local police departments to make steering wheel locks available for affected Hyundai owners," Gabriel continued. The company is also working with a Compustar "security kit that targets the method of entry thieves are using to access these vehicles." The security kit will be available for purchase and installation beginning Oct. 1.

TikTok has said that it does not condone videos about stealing Kia and Hyundai vehicles, which violate the video app's policies and will be removed if found.

The LASD has issued the following tips to car owners:

  • Install a steering wheel locking device
  • Install a battery disconnect switch
  • Install a kill switch (requires professional installation)
  • Install an aftermarket car alarm (requires professional installation)
  • Lock all windows and doors
  • Park in a well-lit area
  • Park in a secured location (i.e., garage, parking structure, etc.)
  • Install GPS device

FOX News contributed to this report.