Mar 24, 2023 - News

Thefts of Kias and Hyundais are up in D.C.

Police-reported car thefts in D.C.
Reproduced from USAFacts; Chart: Axios Visuals

Kias and Hyundais made up a third of car thefts in D.C. in 2022, according to new data from USAFacts.

The big picture: Thieves across America are stealing the vehicles in seconds because of design flaws in the cars.

  • Thieves are breaking windows and removing parts of the steering column cover, then starting the vehicle with a screwdriver or a plugin from a USB device.
  • The tactic became known from a recent challenge on TikTok, which encouraged targeting these vehicles.

What they're saying: Last month, D.C. announced it would offer Kia and Hyundai owners free steering wheel locks to combat thefts.

  • MPD tells Axios that each police station had about 75-100 steering wheel locks left as of Tuesday.

What's next: Kia and Hyundai both released new "theft deterrent software" for more than 8 million vehicles in response to the trend.

TikTok said in a statement to the Washington Post it "does not condone this behavior which violates our policies and will be removed if found on our platform."

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