Hyundai is joining with AAA to provide free anti-theft software and special insurance coverage for owners affected by the viral TikTok videos showing how to steal the vehicles.
Police departments in major cities including New York, Philadelphia, Seattle and Atlanta have reported a surge in thefts of Hyundai models without push-button ignitions and anti-theft devices. Nearly four million Hyundai vehicles from the 2003-2022 model years are affected, along with some models from sister company Kia.
The surge in thefts was so serious that top insurance companies including Progressive and State Farm stopped covering Hyundai owners, and some Kia owners whose vehicles also have been attractive to TikTok thieves.
Under the new Hyundai-AAA program, AAA insurers will issue new and renewal policies for eligible affected Hyundai customers.
Hyundai owners can visit AAA.com/insurance to receive a quote.
Hyundai also is fast-tracking the roll out of the free anti-theft software upgrade for affected vehicles.
All affected vehicles are eligible for the software upgrade immediately, two months ahead of the original schedule.
The software upgrade is designed to prevent the vehicles from starting during a method of theft popularized on TikTok and other social media channels.
Older Models Which Can’t be Upgraded
Some 2011-2022 model year vehicles cannot accommodate the software upgrade.
For these owners, Hyundai will reimburse those owners for their purchase of steering wheel locks or a different anti-theft device, such as an alarm kit.
Visit www.HyundaiAntiTheft.com for more information about this option.
This site provides affected owners with information on available solutions and directs them to schedule an appointment at a local dealer if their vehicle lacks an engine immobilizer and is eligible for the software upgrade.
All Hyundai vehicles produced since November 2021 are equipped with an engine immobilizer as standard equipment. In addition, Hyundai continues to work with more than 450 law enforcement agencies across the country to provide no-cost steering wheel locks to affected communities.
Eligible Affected Vehicles
February 13, 2023
March 21, 2023
April 6, 2023
Santa Fe Sport
Santa Fe XL
April 14, 2023
How the Anti-Theft Software Upgrade Works
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 the “how to steal this car” TikTok video is followed.
Customers must use the key fob to unlock their vehicles in order to deactivate the “ignition kill” feature.
The free upgrade will be performed by Hyundai dealers and will take less than one hour for installation.
Installation includes placing window decals to alert would-be thieves that the vehicle is equipped with enhanced anti-theft technology.
About the AAA Insurance Offering
The program will be available in all states with the exception of the three states where AAA does not offer insurance – .
- Washington (state)
“We are pleased to collaborate with AAA insurers in the best interest of our shared customers and provide support for those who were having difficulty securing and sustaining auto insurance as a result of the increased criminal activity targeting Hyundai vehicles,” said Randy Parker, CEO, Hyundai Motor America.
“AAA is about taking care of people,” said Marshall Doney, CEO and President for AAA, Inc. “Collaborating with Hyundai on this issue to help provide customers with a viable solution felt like a natural fit for us.”
“Our goal is to get every one of these vehicles into a dealership for the free software upgrade,” added Parker.
North America’s largest membership organizations.Started in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to chart a path for better roads in America and advocate for safe mobility, AAA has transformed into one of
Today, AAA provides roadside assistance, travel, discounts, financial and insurance services to enhance the life journey of over 63 million members across North America, including over 56 million in the United States. To learn more about all AAA offers or become a member visit AAA.com.
Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai Motor America focuses on ‘Progress for Humanity’ and smart mobility solutions. Hyundai offers U.S. consumers a technology-rich lineup of cars, SUVs, and electrified vehicles. Our 830 dealers sold more than 724,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2022, and nearly half were built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter currently serves as President of the International Motor Press Assn. (IMPA) and is a former Board Member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)
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