If you drive a Kia or Hyundai, your car might still be very much at risk in New Jersey.

Photo by Mpho Mojapelo on Unsplash
Photo by Mpho Mojapelo on Unsplash
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Just last week at my apartment building in South Jersey, I noticed a police presence in the outdoor residence parking lot where I park my car every day. An officer was talking to a woman by her car, nearby my own. I couldn't help but ask the officer in passing, "Was somebody's car broken into?" Her answer? "Yes. And it looks like they're still targeting Kias."

This is still a problem in New Jersey and across the country. About 1 in every 5 stolen vehicle in New Jersey is either a Kia or a Hyundai, according to NJ.com.

Why are KIAs and Hyundais being targeted by thieves?

Getty Images

Some models of these cars don't have an important anti-theft device...

According to Capitol One:

"Many modern Hyundais and Kias lack a useful anti-theft device called an immobilizer, which prevents a vehicle from starting when someone attempts to use a key or key fob that doesn’t match the car. This means that thieves can simply break into the vehicle, remove the steering column cover, jam a makeshift key into the ignition cylinder, and start the car."

Also. It's already been demonstrated by social media and TikTok users how easy it is steal Kias and Hyundais with the use of a simple USB cable. It was part of a troubling trend called the "KIA Challenge." Most of the videos have since been removed, but the damage has already been done.

Which models are being targeted?

2011-2021 model year Kias and Hyundais without immobilizers with keyed ignition are the primary targets.

If you have a Kia or a Hyundai, the automakers suggest that you get "anti-theft bars for ignition model cards, and immobilizers on newer models."

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