Hyundai and Kia are distributing free anti-theft software to over 8 million vehicles in order to combat viral car theft videos on social media platforms such as YouTube and TikTok. When a theft attempt is made, the software disables the engine control system to prevent unauthorized vehicle startup.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, automakers have developed theft deterrent software for more than 8 million of their vehicles that lack an immobilizer system, making them a target for thieves across the country. Vehicle owners will receive the software free of charge. According to the NHTSA, the software will be available for approximately 3.8 million Hyundai and 4.5 million Kia vehicles.
The decision to provide free anti-theft software was made in response to an increase in viral videos showing car thieves stealing vehicles in seconds using hacking tools. These videos have gone viral on social media, resulting in an increase in vehicle thefts.
It updates the theft alarm software logic to increase the length of the alarm sound from 30 seconds to one minute, and it also requires a key to be inserted into the ignition switch to turn the vehicle on. Hyundai will also send customers a window sticker informing them that their vehicle is equipped with anti-theft technology. The automaker stated that the stickers and software updates will be distributed in stages beginning later this month.
Hyundai and Kia’s initiative aims to make it more difficult for car thieves to steal vehicles while also providing vehicle owners with peace of mind.
The sources for this piece include an article in TechCrunch.