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Kia Offers Free Anti-Theft Upgrades Amid TikTok Trend of Stolen Cars (Video)

Kia’s Response to Viral Video

Kia is offering free anti-theft upgrades for its vehicles over the weekend. This action follows a viral TikTok video demonstrating how certain Kia models can be stolen using a screwdriver or USB cable.

Free Software Updates at Lakewood Center Mall

Kia owners are invited to the Lakewood Center Mall for the upgrades. The process involves answering a few questions and connecting iPads to the car’s ignition. The software update, which takes only a few minutes, is provided free of charge.

Impact of TikTok Trend on Kia Owners

Janet Garcia, a Kia owner, shared her experience of having her car stolen and undergoing a lengthy repair process. She expressed relief at the availability of the update.

Models Affected by the Trend

The TikTok trend targeted Kia models with TurnKey ignitions made between 2010 and 2021 that lacked immobilizers. These devices make it harder to start a car without a key. Kia models with ignition buttons and fobs were not affected. The trend also led to a significant rise in thefts of certain Kia and Hyundai cars over the past three years.

Law Enforcement and Public Response

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) issued warnings about the vulnerability of certain Hyundai and Kia models. In response, Kia organized the anti-theft upgrade clinic in Lakewood to offer free software patches until June 2nd, with no appointment necessary.

Owner Reactions to the Upgrades

Despite reports of Kia cars being stolen even after the upgrade, owners appreciated the initiative. One owner noted that the ease of accessing the upgrade prompted them to take action, emphasizing the importance of car protection.


The anti-theft clinic in Lakewood has been well-received by Kia owners, who are eager to enhance their car’s security in light of recent theft trends. The free software update is part of Kia’s efforts to address the issue and provide peace of mind to its customers.


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