Toronto, Ontario — Kia and Hyundai will begin sell anti-theft kits to prospective customers starting this Saturday, in response to five months of rising theft reports, YouTube carjacking tutorials and five class-action lawsuits in as many American states.
Kia and Hyundai will begin selling the Compustar Firstech glass-break sensor security kit at dealerships and Compustar locations this weekend, which Forbes says should run for approximately $230 (US$170) before installation fees. This follows months of the “Kia Boyz” social media challenge, where thieves actively teach car theft and challenge viewers to try their hand at committing a felony themselves.
While the viral impact of the trend is undeniable, an IIHS investigation highlights that this trend is ultimately enabled by how easy it is to steal these vehicles, with an IIHS senior v-p saying “Hyundai and Kia have lagged behind other automakers in making (electronic immobilizers) standard equipment.”
Several videos from self-proclaimed “Kia Boyz” indicate that these thefts can be carried out with minimal training and easily accessible devices, both of which are not reproduced here for legal reasons.
“Our earlier studies show that vehicle theft losses plunged after immobilizers were introduced,” said Matt Moore, senior v-p of the IIHS’s research wing, the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).
At the time of publication, Compustar and Hyundai, have not responded to a query by Collision Repair Magazine if these customer-funded offerings will be made available to Canadian outlets.
For more information, check out Collision Repair Magazine’s story on the impact of the “Kia Boyz” trend.