Kia and Hyundai owners in Illinois, buckle up! Your car might be a target for thieves thanks to a dangerous and ridiculous viral social media challenge.

Most Stolen Car Models in 2023

Getty Images, Canva
Getty Images, Canva

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Kia and Hyundai models are seriously hot property with car thieves. In fact, in 2023 alone, the Hyundai Elantra took the unwanted crown of most stolen car nationwide, with Kia and Hyundai making up a whopping six out of the top ten most frequently swiped vehicles.

Here are the ten most stolen vehicles in Illinois in 2023 according to NICB;

RankMake/ModelNo. of thefts in 2023
1.Hyundai Elantra3,052
2.Hyundai Sonata2,080
3.Kia Optima1,436
4.Jeep Grand Cherokee1,311
5.Kia Forte1,119
6.Kia Sportage1,116
7.Kia Soul1,112
8.Hyundai Tuscon929
9.Dodge Charger739
10.Infinity Q50704

How Is TikTok To Blame?

To be fair, this challenge was all over social media, but as a Kia driver who tries to avoid getting lost in a sea of TikTok videos, I need to know more about this "Kia Challenge" that has led to so many vehicles being stolen.

Here's a good explanation of it...

@purepower35#greenscreen up to the challenge #momsoftiktok#dadsoftiktok#teachersoftiktok#kidsoftiktok#police#CVSPaperlessChallenge @PurePower35 ♬ Epic Emotional - AShamaluevMusic
The viral "Kia Challenge" was first spotted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2021, and involved people stealing cars, going for a joy ride in them, and then abandoning them on the side of some road. 

Kia and Hyundai Models Most Vulnerable to Car Theft

Now the big question is; what Kia and Hyundai models are most at risk? 
According to Orbit Insurance Services;
Not all vehicles are subject to the hot wire hack. In fact, the challenge targets specific makes and models of Kia vehicles built between 2011-2021 and Hyundai vehicles built between 2015-2021. These models use a mechanical key and ‘turn-to-start’ ignition system rather than a key fob and push-button to start the car. 
Are you a little worried your car will be stolen now? Perhaps it's time to bust out The Club again. 

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