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Auto insurers limit coverage on some cars after viral TikTok videos

Large auto insurers are reconsidering covering some models after TikTok videos demonstrating theft go viral, a double whammy for owners.

tiktok videos viral about theft

Cars are the main mode of transportation in America, taking us to work, road tripping, and everything in between – we rely on our cars to be in tip top shape. So we buy car insurance that can be very expensive. What happens though when you are denied car insurance because of some viral videos?

It’s a little far-fetched but that’s kind of what’s happening to some Kia and Hyundai owners.

Recently, Progressive and State Farm (two of the nation’s largest car insurance providers) have dropped certain models of Kia and Hyundai for their lack of anti-theft features. New policies were enacted after a surge of Kia and Hyundai Car thefts. 

Some claim the thefts are also a result of negligence on TikTok’s part.

According to Kiro News Radio, theft of Kias and Hyundais are becoming a challenge on the social video platform. There are still viral TikTok videos demonstrating how to steal the vehicles with just a USB cable, as well as other viral TikToks challenging others to see how many cars people can steal or attempt to steal in a day.

The hasttag #KiaBoys is connected to the Kia theft challenges, and has upwards of 33 million views. TikTok claims they have no stock in what’s going on and takes no responsibility for the outbreak. They maintain that they are simply a platform for content, despite their being banned in various ways across America. 

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Below is a quick documentary on the viral videos:

Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison is so fed up with the hundreds of stolen vehicles in the area that she is suing. Though there are limited grounds on which to sue TikTok, there appears to be plenty of evidence to sue Hyundai and Kia, according to Davison.

According to the lawsuit, 158 Hyundais and Kias were stolen in Seattle in 2021, skyrocketing to 825 stolen last year alone.

The models stolen at the time lacked simple anti-theft technology resulting in their being an easy target. This information was then shared millions of times on TikTok.

Kia and Hyundai claim all newer models made in the country are provided with anti-theft technology. But there is no word on any efforts to retrofit any models.

USA-Today reported that neither the car makers nor the insurance companies are releasing information on which models or which parts of the country are being affected (but TikTok users already know).

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Both State Farm and Progressive stated they were reducing the amount of new customers they were accepting with Kia and Hyundai models as well as raising prices for those who are already customers

Hyundai and Kia are doing little to remedy the issues.

Hyundai is allowing those with later model vehicles to come and purchase a $200 security kit for them to install (although they should do it for free) to help to mitigate the issues. They are also handing out free steering wheel locks.

Kia is currently doing less, stating they are “Testing enhanced security software for vehicles that didn’t come with immobilizers originally.”

The following update is a statement from Kia:“Kia has completed development of enhanced security software to restrict the unauthorized operation of vehicle ignition systems on certain models not equipped with an immobilizer. Kia has already started notifying owners about this free software upgrade and anticipates making it available to most owners of affected vehicles over the next few months. Kia also continues to make steering wheel locks available at no cost through interested local law enforcement agencies, subject to available supply. The company remains concerned about incidents of car theft targeting certain Kia models, encouraged in some cases by social media content promoting criminal conduct, and is committed to supporting law enforcement and owners in addressing these crimes. Kia owners with questions may contact our Customer Care team directly at 1-800-333-4542 (4Kia) or online via the Owners Portal on”

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A native New Englander who migrated to Austin on a whim, Stephanie Dominique is a freelance copywriter, novelist, and certificate enthusiast. When she's not getting howled at by two dachshunds or inhaling enough sugar to put a giant into shock, she is reading, cooking or writing about her passions.

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