Hyundai and Kia owners will try anything to keep their cars from getting stolen. It's a serious problem across the United States as a TikTok trend launched a nationwide crime spree targeting pre-2022 cars from the Korean brands. They're in the middle of fixing more than a million vehicles that are easily jacked, but for extra protection, this Sonata owner swapped out their daily driver's Hyundai badges for Ford emblems.
The car was posted to r/justrolledintotheshop on Reddit by u/Crawlerx. They specified that it was an attempt to divert thieves, and so far, it seems to be working.
It helps that so many cars these days look alike. Several comments in the Reddit thread point out that this could probably pass for a Ford Fusion, especially with the general public. Others said it looks like a Subaru Legacy, and yeah, that tracks. When safety regulations influence design choices as much as customer input, you end up with a lot of same-y sedans.
The reason 2021 and older Kias and Hyundais are so easily stolen is that models with physical keys lack immobilizers. That means there's nothing authenticating the key and preventing bandits from cranking the ignition with something else. Many of the thefts have been performed with nothing more than a USB cable.
Hyundai and Kia have been working to rectify this situation for months by rolling out free anti-theft software to affected cars. Hyundai even gave out steering wheel clubs in the early stages of finding a solution. The automakers are facing legal action from major U.S. cities, and some insurance providers have blacklisted the cars, making it a lot harder for owners to carry coverage.
It's a work in progress, but if you have a few rolls of black tape lying around like this resourceful Sonata owner did, you can go the extra mile to keep your ride safe.
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