BALTIMORE -- Car manufacturer Kia announced it is bringing a mobile anti-theft software upgrade service center to Hanover, Maryland this weekend in a bid to defend the theft-prone cars and their owners.
Baltimore City has seen a nearly 230% increase in stolen cars this year compared to last year, Mayor Brandon Scott. Hyundai and Kia models make up over 68% of the vehicles stolen in Baltimore City because videos showing how easily some models can be hotwired went viral on TikTok.
The software upgrade center will be at 7000 Arundel Mills Circle in Hanover on November 10, 11 and 12 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
The upgrade process can be completed in as few as 30 minutes, the company said. Kia will also provide steering wheel locks to owners of impacted vehicles that are not eligible for the software upgrade.
"The mobile center is intended to complement Kia's network of dealerships in the greater Baltimore area and help drive installations of Kia's free anti-theft deterrent software upgrade that is designed to make it more difficult for criminals to use methods of theft popularized on social media," the company said in a statement.
Owners of the following models should enter their vehicle's VIN at this website to confirm eligibility for the software upgrade.
- Forte 2014 - 2021
- Rio 2012- 2021
- Soul 2020 - 2022
- K5 2021 - 2022
- Sedona 2011 - 2021
- Sportage 2011 - 2022
- Optima 2011 - 2020
- Seltos 2021 - 2022
Police departments all across the country have been dealing with a rash of Kia and Hyundai thefts after videos showing how easily some models can be hotwired using something as common as a cellphone charging cord went viral on TikTok.
Earlier this year Baltimore joined cities across the country in, blaming hundreds of car thefts in the city this year on the companies' alleged cost-cutting measures.
Kia and Hyundaiearlier this year aimed to prevent thefts. The companies also shipped tens of thousands of anti-theft steering wheel locks across the country.
If you can't make it to the mobile center, visit your nearest Kia dealership or learn more through the dedicated anti-theft measure website.
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