Auto theft could happen to any vehicle owner. It is an unfortunate event that no one wants to experience. Recently, it has been trending in the media because of a viral trend on the social media platform TikTok. Though some see the trend as childish, criminals have used it as an opportunity to exploit owners of specific Kia and Hyundai models.
What is going on with Kia and Hyundai vehicles?
What started out as a simple TikTok challenge in 2022 turned into a serious concern for some vehicle owners and insurance companies. The TikTok video demonstrated how certain Kia and Hyundai model vehicles could be stolen. Even if the perpetrators are not successful at stealing the vehicle, a lot of damage can happen during a potential break-in with broken glass, damage to the vehicle, and damage or theft of personal property.
TheInsurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that, “Many 2015-19 Hyundai and Kia vehicles lack electronic immobilizers that prevent thieves from simply breaking in and bypassing the ignition. The feature is standard equipment on nearly all vehicles of that vintage made by other manufacturers.”
What should I do if I have a 2010-2021 Kia or a 2015-2021 Hyundai?
According to theNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Kia and Hyundai are providing free software updates on the affected models. If you have one of these models, the NHTSA says to contact Hyundai (800-633-5151) or Kia (800-333-4542) for more information.
While the challenge on the popular social platform was specific to select Kia and Hyundai vehicles, any vehicle may be a target of theft or attempted theft. Because of that, it’s important to take safety measures when it comes to your vehicle. Are you taking precautions to avoid being targeted by a theft? If you are not sure, then continue to read more about ways to help prevent it from happening to you.
Regardless of current trends, it’s important to acknowledge that vehicle theft could happen any time, but there are ways to help prevent it or ensure you are covered if it does happen.
Does auto insurance cover theft?
Have you recently reviewed your auto insurance policy? Most auto policies cover vehicle theft, but in order to know for sure you will want to contact your agent for more information. Your agent will be able to explain your policy’s terms and explain what happens if your vehicle is stolen.
Top tips on how to prevent auto theft
Here are the top eight tips on how to help prevent auto theft. Auto theft could happen to any vehicle owner, so these tips may help prevent it from happening to you.
Lock your windows and doors and take your keys with you when you exit the vehicle. It is important to never leave your vehicle unlocked while it is unattended.
Park in a well-lit area or inside a garage. By parking in a well-lit area, it is harder for a would-be thief to be “unseen” while attempting to break into or steal your vehicle.
If you have access to a garage, park in it. This can also help ensure the vehicle is hidden from the public eye.
Install additional lighting around your home if needed. This may help with keeping potential thieves away from stealing your vehicle.
Install a steering wheel locking device. A steering wheel locking device is a visible device used for anti-theft purposes which can immobilize the vehicle’s steering wheel.
Install a tracking device in your vehicle. These devices can help find your vehicle if it were to be stolen. If you vehicle is stolen contact your local police department right away so that they can help find your vehicle.
Install house and garage cameras. There are many types of security cameras that may protect you, your home and your belongings. If you have cameras around your home, it may deter someone from attempting to steal your vehicle. But, in the event they do, they may be caught on camera.
Install a vehicle alarm. If your vehicle does not have an alarm of its own, you can purchase one and install it for additional protection. Check online for the best reviews and easiest installation systems.
Does auto insurance cover catalytic converter theft?
Most auto policies may cover catalytic converter theft. The best way to know for sure is by contacting your insurance agent and asking them if your auto policy covers catalytic converter theft. They will be able to explain what your policy covers and if it contains coverage in the event your catalytic converter is stolen. If your policy covers this type of theft, a deductible may still apply.
Why do people steal catalytic converters?
Catalytic converter thefts continue to be a popular criminal activity, and they are on the rise once again. Unfortunately, stealing a catalytic converter is easy and quick to do and results in the cost of time and money to the victim. A primary reason catalytic converters appeal to thieves is because they can be easy money for whoever steals the converter. Catalytic converters contain valuable metals. The catalytic converter can be sold to scrappers and recycling companies and make someone a quick, but unethical, buck.
How to prevent catalytic converter theft?
You can help to prevent catalytic converter theft in similar ways to other theft prevention. The same tips above may also help prevent catalytic converter theft from your vehicle. Some local jurisdictions and auto repair facilities have partnered together to help prevent theft by engraving the VIN (vehicle identification number) on the catalytic converter. This has helped reduce theft in some cases, so it may be worth finding out if you have this in your vehicle.
These are just a few helpful tips that may help prevent vehicle theft. No one wants to experience having their vehicle or other things stolen. Don’t just keep this to yourself either. Share these tips with your family members, friends and co-workers to help everyone protect themselves.