TikTookay has lengthy been a magnet for younger daredevils.

The Milk Crate Challenge enticed individuals to climb tall stacks of crates; the Blackout Challenge lured contributors to carry their breath till they black out.

These challenges resulted in a number of accidents and deaths. The newest troubling TikTookay problem, nonetheless, poses a distinct form of danger for contributors: the chance of partaking in blatantly felony exercise.

It is named the “Kia Challenge.” The problem encourages individuals to movie themselves breaking into Kia and Hyundai automobiles with key-based ignition techniques by smashing the rear window, beginning the engines with a easy USB wire, and taking the automobiles for a pleasure journey.

Lawsuits Are Mounting

The problem first appeared about two years in the past in Milwaukee and has unfold throughout the nation. Cities are reporting skyrocketing break-ins and thefts of those automobiles, and class-action lawsuits in at the very least seven states contend that these automobiles comprise safety flaws that make them simple to steal.

  • On Sept. 2, a St. Paul, Minnesota, man filed a class-action lawsuit towards Kia and Hyundai, saying key-based fashions comprise a “significant defect” that makes them inclined to theft. According to police, 18 Kias and 31 Hyundais had been stolen in St. Paul in all of 2021. As of mid-July this yr, these numbers jumped to 256 Kias and 212 Hyundais.
  • Two weeks earlier, three residents of Columbus, Ohio, filed a class-action lawsuit towards the 2 carmakers, contending that the autos are faulty as a result of they lack engine immobilizers that forestall the automobiles from beginning and not using a key.
  • An Independence, Missouri, lawyer filed a class-action lawsuit towards Kia and Hyundai in July on behalf of residents in Missouri and Kansas. The lawsuit alleges that the carmakers deliberately did not set up anti-theft units to economize.

In St. Louis, the thefts have gotten so unhealthy — greater than 1,200 Kias and Hyundais had been stolen by mid-August this yr — that town is contemplating a lawsuit of its personal.

What Owners Should Do

Kia and Hyundai say all their 2022 fashions embrace the immobilizers as normal gear. But officers say that individuals who personal 2011 or newer Kias and 2015 or newer Hyundais ought to take precautions to discourage thefts. These measures embrace:

  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Use a steering-wheel lock
  • Consider buying an alarm system
  • Watch for any suspicious exercise, particularly at night time

The lawsuits contend that the automobiles do not adjust to federal security requirements as a result of they do not forestall the automobiles from being began when the bottom line is eliminated. Plaintiffs say Hyundai and Kia ought to refund the acquisition costs of the automobiles, compensate clients for different losses, and restore the automobiles if essential.

Kia and Hyundai deny that the automobiles usually are not complying with federal security requirements, however they’re offering steering wheel locks for police departments to distribute in a number of cities. Hyundai additionally says it’s making a safety equipment accessible for buy and set up at dealerships beginning Oct. 1. The kits “target the method of entry thieves are using to access these vehicles” and can value within the vary of $75 to $150.

If you might have a key-operated Kia or Hyundai, it will likely be smart to take the steps listed above to lower the chance of theft. You also needs to see if you’re in a state the place a class-action lawsuit has been filed, so you’ll be able to add your identify. It could also be price it.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer may also help you perceive your choices and tips on how to greatest shield your rights. Visit our lawyer listing to discover a lawyer close to you who may also help.

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