Hyundai and Kia are releasing a software patch for select models that is designed to stop a type of auto theft recently popularized in TikTok videos.
The patch will go out to four million Hyundai Elantra, Sonata, and Venue drivers, with more scheduled to get the upgrade in the coming months. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said about 3.8 million Hyundais and 4.5 million Kias are eligible.
"Hyundai is committed to ensuring the quality and integrity of our products through continuous improvement and is pleased to provide affected customers with an additional theft deterrent through this software upgrade," said Randy Parker, CEO 0f Hyundai Motor America, in a press release. "We have prioritized the upgrade's availability for owners and lessees of our highest selling vehicles and those most targeted by thieves in order for dealers to service them first."
The software patch comes months after a car crash in Buffalo left four teenagers dead. Law enforcement said the crash was linked to a TikTok challenge, which showed users how to hotwire cars by taking advantage of a flaw in their electronic ignition switch. The upgrade will require the keys to be in the ignition switch for the car to start.
From the press release:
"The software upgrade modifies certain vehicle control modules on Hyundai vehicles equipped with standard "turn-key-to-start" ignition systems. As a result, locking the doors with the key fob will set the factory alarm and activate an "ignition kill" feature so the vehicles cannot be started when subjected to the popularized theft mode. Customers must use the key fob to unlock their vehicles to deactivate the "ignition kill" feature."