New Bluetooth device aims to prevent rise in Kia and Hyundai thefts (2023)

ST. LOUIS – As the number of stolen Kia and Hyundai vehicles has increased, new technology is trying to deter thieves before they steal your vehicle.

With just a press of a button, a new device called the “Bluetooth Interrupter” stops thieves in their tracks.

“You can do this all day long, but you cannot start the car,” said Elliot Silk, services director for Suntrup Kia and Hyundai.

(Video) New Bluetooth device aims to prevent rise in Kia and Hyundai thefts

The always-on key connects to Bluetooth wiring in the car that is designed to prevent theft.

“It’s one thing to replace the glass and the steering column, it’s the other thing if people have a 2013,” Silk said. “They have to buy a whole new car because their car was totaled out, and that’s what I’m preventing.”

(Video) Kia, Hyundai offer software fix to prevent vehicle thefts

According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, car thefts in the city have increased from 3,596 to 6,661 compared to 2021. Of those, 3,643 have been reported as Kia and Hyundai thefts, which is more than last year’s total combined.

“As this catches on and more people keep calling us and installing, it’s going to cut down on thefts,” Silk said.

Suntrup technicians have installed the technology in cars for more than 100 customers thus far. The installation costs $200 and can be used on any make and model car.

(Video) Hyundai dealerships to begin selling security kits to prevent auto thefts on Saturday

“It seems we’re storing more of them than we can actually fix them,” said Jeff Sonntag, service manager at Wicke Auto Service and Body Co.

Sonntag has been fixing cars for over 20 years at the shop in the Central West End.

A few months ago, the auto repair shop would be packed with stolen Kias and Hyundais being worked on. Now, there is only one Kia at the shop because the demand for repairs outweighs the supply of parts.

(Video) The TikTok Kia challenge: How to avoid getting your car stolen

“We get calls every day,” Sonntag said. “I just put them on a list and say I’ll try and call you and see, but I have yet to ever hit that list because there are no parts out there. There’s nothing.”

Although Sonntag believes the interrupter is a big help, he noted that between the pandemic and supply chain slowdown, he sees no end in sight for the backlog of cars waiting to be fixed, if they are ever even recovered.

The hope is that with new technology, more thieves will think twice before another car ends up in a shop.

(Video) Police warn of more Hyundai, Kia thefts on West Side

To learn more about the new device, click here.

(Video) Hyundai, Kia update security after TikTok challenge thefts


What device might prevent the theft of a vehicle? ›

Active anti-theft systems

An alarm that is engaged by you—either by removing a car key or by pushing a button. Manual disabling devices. These devices—which ensure your car stays put—need to be actively set up by you. This could be steering wheel locks, security tire clamps, brake locks, and engine kill switches.

What is Kia doing about the thefts? ›

Hyundai and Kia Launch Service Campaign to Prevent Theft of Millions of Vehicles Targeted by Social Media Challenge. Hyundai and Kia have developed theft deterrent software for millions of their vehicles that lack an immobilizer and will provide it FREE of charge to vehicle owners.

How are thieves stealing Kias and Hyundais? ›

And the automakers say they're not to blame for any of it. Thieves have learned how to steal the cars using USB cords in ignitions built without immobilizers, which prevent engines from starting without computer chips in keys. In St. Louis County alone, almost 1,000 Kias and Hyundais have been stolen so far this year.

How do you protect a Hyundai from being stolen? ›

Hall provided these additional suggestions to help keep you car safe:
  1. Lock doors & take your keys.
  2. Don't leave a spare key in vehicle.
  3. Close windows.
  4. Park in well-lit areas.
  5. Install alarm system & anti-theft device.
  6. Install vehicle immobilizer system &/or tracking system.
Aug 10, 2022

What device is used to steal keyless cars? ›

The “mystery device” is actually a relay attack unit and it's a two-part system. The system can break into cars with a keyless entry system and can start cars with a push-button start.

What are the 3 categories of anti-theft devices? ›

3 Types of Anti-Theft Vehicle Devices
  • Warning Devices. A visible or audible device which alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected.
  • Immobilizing Devices. Prevents thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle.
  • Tracking Devices. ...
  • Common Sense.
Jul 30, 2015

Why are so many Hyundais getting stolen? ›

So, why are these cars so easy to steal, and is Hyundai interested in finding a fix for this matter? Well, the lower models of Hyundai and Kia cars don't have an engine immobilizer or a theft deterrent system. This is because Hyundai was too keen on offering cheaper products and has cut costs here.

What is the Hyundai and Kia issue? ›

The "Kia Challenge" started circulating in mid-2022 and explained that it's possible to remove the steering column covering on some Hyundai and Kia models by force, exposing a slot that fits a USB-A plug. Turning the plug activates its ignition, allowing thieves to drive away.

Why did Kia and Hyundai get stolen? ›

Among 2015-19 vehicles, theft claims were nearly twice as common for Hyundai and Kia vehicles than all other manufacturers. The reason, the institute said, is likely because both companies sell vehicles that don't have electronic immobilizers to prevent thieves from driving off with the cars.

What models of Kia and Hyundai are being stolen? ›

Kia and Hyundai models have been targeted across the country following a TikTok social media challenge that encourages the stealing of these vehicles and shows viewers how to steal the vehicle without a key. The vehicles being targeted are Kia models from 2011-21 and Hyundai models from 2015-21.

What Hyundai models are easy to steal? ›

Here are the remaining Hyundais sold with variants that are vulnerable to theft:
  • 2018-2022 Accent.
  • 2011-2016 Elantra.
  • 2021-2022 Elantra.
  • 2018-2020 Elantra GT.
  • 2011-2014 Genesis Coupe.
  • 2018-2022 Kona.
  • 2020-2021 Palisade.
  • 2013-2018 Santa Fe Sport.
Feb 14, 2023

Are Kia and Hyundai cars easy to steal? ›

Kia and Hyundai under Fire from Cities, Insurers over Too Easily Stolen Vehicles. Reportedly a few insurance companies are refusing coverage on the basis that these models can be stolen too easily. Meanwhile, Seattle is suing the automakers.

How do I stop my Kia from being stolen? ›

Meanwhile, steering wheel locks can prevent the Tik Tok-fueled thefts. Hyundai and Kia have distributed locks to police departments to offer a free deterrent to Hyundai and Kia owners. Hyundai's newly available sensor kit is supposed to target how the thieves are gaining access to the cars.

Are Hyundais with push button start being stolen? ›

Police say thieves are targeting these vehicles because they are much easier to steal. Kia and Hyundai models made between 2010 and 2021 without a push button to start can be hot-wired with only a USB cable and a screwdriver. A stolen car is the last thing anyone wants to deal with.

Does Hyundai have anti-theft? ›

Hyundai Introduces Free Anti-Theft Software Upgrade, Beginning With More Than 1 Million Elantras, Sonatas and Venues - Hyundai Newsroom.

Why should you wrap your car keys in foil at night when alone? ›

Prevent car theft by wrapping your car key fob in foil. Yes, that's right — a piece of tinfoil can stop your car from getting stolen. Key fobs might be convenient, but there's a security risk associated with them. Thieves can use devices that will amplify fob signals to cars or copy the code to get into a vehicle.

Can someone steal a push to start car without key fob? ›

Can cars with start buttons be stolen? Yes, thieves may use the methods we listed above to steal keyless cars with start buttons, including signal relaying, signal jamming and key programming.

Does RFID block car keys? ›

Does RFID block key fob? Yes, the RFID-blocking shell housing prevents people from spoofing your key and prevents hackers from reproducing the signature key-code that your key fob generates – thus denying them access to your vehicle.

How do I know if my car has a passive anti-theft device? ›

In insurance terms, this is any feature preinstalled in your car that makes it harder to steal, or easier to track or recover. We suggest you check your car's manual or the manufacturer's site to find out what security features might be installed.

What are the anti-theft devices called? ›

Security pedestals, otherwise known as antennas or security gates, are set up at the store entry / exit as a theft deterrent. They will alert you if any active tag or label has passed through them indicating a product may have been stolen.

What is a theft detection device? ›

“Theft detection device” means any electronic or other device attached to goods, wares, or merchandise on display or for sale by a merchant.

What is the number one most popular car to be stolen? ›

These 2020 statistics highlight what vehicles are the most desirable by thieves. 2020 is the second year in a row that Ford's full-size pickup truck tops the list as the most stolen car in America.

What is the most stolen item from a car? ›

Thieves will steal anything valuable, but the most common items stolen from cars tend to be electronics, personal information, and accessories.

What are the three most stolen cars? ›

Together, this list represents 15% of all stolen vehicles in the United States during 2021.
  • Honda Civic.
  • Honda Accord.
  • Toyota Camry.
  • GMC Pickup.
  • Nissan Altima.
  • Honda CR-V.
  • Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
  • Toyota Corolla.
Dec 20, 2022

Is Kia fixing the theft problem? ›

After years of a stolen car epidemic sweeping across Milwaukee and the U.S., KIA America and Hyundai now say they have a solution to prevent theft. Kia said it has enhanced security software to restrict the unauthorized operation of vehicle ignition systems on certain models not equipped with an immobilizer.

What is the most common problem with Hyundai? ›

Hyundai vehicles are commonly reported as having engine problems, varying from ticking or unusual noises, to stalling, cutting out or seizing.

Is there a class action lawsuit against Kia? ›

A class action lawsuit involving these vehicles was filed in March 2022, alleging that numerous models of Hyundai and Kia vehicles have defective engines that use excessive oil, stall, and eventually fail. Cho, et al. v.

What Hyundai cars are stolen the most? ›

Due in part to the ease with which these vehicles can be stolen, the 2019-21 Hyundai Accent is one of the most frequently stolen vehicles, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Highway Loss Data Institute.

What Kia models can be stolen with USB? ›

Hyundai and Kia thefts

Despite this, the list of affected models is extensive: 2017-2020 Elantra. 2015-2019 Sonata. 2020-2021 Venue.

Do Kia cars have trackers? ›

If your Kia has been stolen, you can use the UVO app to remotely immobilize your stolen vehicle and track its location. Using the app you can set time, area, idle time, valet alert parameters, and speed limits for your Kia.

What is one of the easiest cars to steal? ›

Kia models newer than 2011 and Hyundai cars newer than 2015 are the primary targets. Experts say they are the easiest cars to steal, but there are ways to discourage thieves.

Can push to start Kia be stolen? ›

The majority of Kia vehicles in the United States are equipped with a key fob and “push-button-to-start” system, making them more difficult to steal. All 2022 Kia models and trims have an immobilizer applied either at the beginning of the model year or as a running change.

Is it more difficult to steal a car with push-button start? ›

Keyless entry systems are a great innovation. Yet, they're not perfect. The technology in keyless entry systems actually makes it easier than ever to steal a car. Back in the old days, you needed to either obtain a key or be able to access a vehicle and hotwire it if you wanted to steal a car.

Does disabling keyless entry stop theft? ›

Turn off keyless entry on your fob

This is a sure fire way to prevent car theft because you don't need to worry about anyone intercepting the signal. Turning the signal off is different for each vehicle, but you should be able to find out how inside the car's manual.

How hard is it to steal a car with push-button start? ›

The targeted vehicles are those with keyless entry and start systems, exploiting the technology to get into the car and drive it away. Keyless car theft is simpler and quicker than you might imagine. Police say that it can take less than two minutes for a car to be stolen.

Do Hyundai cars have tracking devices? ›

The Car Finder feature is accessed through the MyHyundai with Bluelink Mobile App. This feature allows you to locate your vehicle on a map if your GPS signal is within a 1-mile radius of your vehicle, and gives you the ability to save your vehicle's location for future reference.

Is Hyundai Blue Link anti-theft? ›

Stolen Vehicle Recovery

With Blue Link®, you can locate your stolen car even sooner. Blue Link® has the ability to provide local law enforcement with your car's exact location and can even immobilize the engine until it's been recovered.

How do I know if my car has a security system? ›

If you have bought your car used, there's a pretty easy way to check if your vehicle came with a car alarm installed: check the owner's manual and look at the key-fob. Your vehicle's manual is a great resource for finding out if the car came with an alarm.

What devices might prevent the theft of a vehicle quizlet? ›

  • Ignition buzzer.
  • locks.
  • Alarms and other (ATD)

What is the best protection for car theft? ›

Always lock all of your vehicle's doors and windows after entering and exiting it. Never leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running, even for a few seconds.
Invest in anti-theft devices:
  • Ignition or fuel kill switches.
  • Steering wheel, gearshift, and hood locks.
  • Steering column collar.
  • Electric alarm.

What are 3 safety devices that are located within the vehicle? ›

Here's a rundown of some basic safety gear.
  • Airbags. Front airbags have been standard on all new cars since 1998 and light trucks since 1999. ...
  • Antilock brakes (ABS) ...
  • Traction control. ...
  • Electronic stability control. ...
  • Safety-belt features. ...
  • Newer safety features - accident avoidance systems. ...
  • Tire-pressure monitors. ...
  • Telematics.

Which system is the most important safety device in a vehicle? ›

#1 – Airbags.

Driver and passenger airbags typically will deploy if you get into an accident that involves the front of your vehicle. However, some cars come equipped with several additional airbags. The supplemental airbags can help protect you in many different circumstances or accident types.

What eight devices control the vehicle? ›

Operating vehicle control devices – Controls used for the operation of a vehicle, including steering wheel, gear selector lever, parking brake, cruise/speed control, ignition switch, and accelerator and brake pedals.

Which cars do thieves steal the most? ›

These 2020 statistics highlight what vehicles are the most desirable by thieves. 2020 is the second year in a row that Ford's full-size pickup truck tops the list as the most stolen car in America. Japanese model sedans are the most popular stolen cars, taking six out of 10 slots within the top 10.

What car brand has the best security? ›

There are different types of cars from different brands with excellent safety features.
14 Safest Car Brands in the World (2020 Ranking List)
1GenesisSouth Korea(Luxury Vehicles)
2VolvoSweden(Luxury Vehicles)
3TeslaUnited States(Luxury Electric Vehicles)
4MazdaJapan(Mass-Market Cars)
11 more rows
Sep 8, 2020

What deactivates security tags? ›

Security labels are usually deactivated by a deactivator that is situated at the point of sale or integrated into the scanner. This deactivator works by breaking a circuit within a label so they no longer emit a signal and can pass near an antenna without causing an alarm to sound. Labels cannot be re-used.

How do I know if I have an anti-theft device on my car? ›

Most modern cars have a dash light that indicates that the anti-theft system has been triggered. The icon for the anti-theft system looks like a car and a lock combination. When this light is on and flashing (it will be either or blue), it will indicate that your car's anti-theft system is activated.

How do you remove a security tag with a magnet? ›

Use scissors, a screwdriver, a high-powered magnet, a knife, or a pair of pliers. With a magnet, place it on the table and position the tag bottom side down on the magnet. You should hear it click. Manipulate the pin up and down, and it should come out.

How do I disable theft device? ›

Insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the on position, which activates your accessories but not the engine. Leave the key in position for about 10 – 15 minutes. Step 3: Check the anti-theft light again. If it's no longer blinking, turn the key back to the Off position and allow it to set for a minute or two.

How do theft Prevention scanners work? ›

The detection system will sound an alarm or alert the staff of theft when active tags pass by. They are sensor-based using a combination of radiofrequency, electromagnetic technology, sensors, metal detectors and connect to software that controls alarm sensitivity, volume, and duration.

What is a permanently installed anti-theft device in a car? ›

A hidden kill switch cuts electricity flow at the ignition switch of a car to prevent thieves from stealing the vehicle. Some install many hidden kill switches to discourage robbers who try to drive off with their car.


1. Hyundai, Kia update security after TikTok challenge thefts
(WKYC Channel 3)
2. Kia and Hyundai thefts continue I KMSP FOX 9
(FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul)
3. How Hyundai and Kia drivers are protecting themselves from thefts
(News 5 Cleveland)
4. Shocking Car Thefts Caught On Camera In New Online Trend
(NBC News)
5. TikTok trend may be causing car theft crime wave in Florida city
(FOX 13 Tampa Bay)
6. Seattle sues Kia, Hyundai for failing to install anti-theft technology | FOX 13 Seattle
(FOX 13 Seattle)


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