- The never-ending TikTok-challenge saga is actually, slowly coming to an end.
- Hyundai has announced that its software updates, which make the cars no longer as easy to steal as they are in the popular videos, are now available for all affected models, a few months ahead of schedule.
- AAA also announced that it will offer owners of affected models insurance options, following the news earlier this year that both Progressive and State Farm either raised rates on the affected models or simply declined to offer new policies.
Hyundai just finished rolling out a series of model-by-model software updates for the nearly 4 million of its vehicles that, until the update, remained vulnerable to an ultra-easy theft method popularized on TikTok.
The software rollout started in February, and availability for the later models is happening a few months earlier than Hyundai's previously announced schedule.
Hyundai's new code is meant for affected vehicles without a built-in electronic immobilizer. The update makes it so that the TikTok method won't work because the cars now require a physical key to deactivate the new "ignition kill" feature. Hyundai (and Kia, which also has affected vehicles) has made it clear how important it is to install this update and said any Hyundai dealership could perform the update, which should take less than an hour.
One Insurer That's Not Walking Away
In addition to that, the automaker announced last week it is partnering with AAA to offer insurance coverage for affected vehicles. That may not sound like much of a deal, but earlier this year, both State Farm and Progressive said they would no longer accept new policies for the easily stolen models or raised prices, so having at least one guaranteed coverage provider sure is better than none.
Granted, now that the software solution is rolling out, the vehicles are no longer as virally tempting, which should mean AAA won't have to pay out as many potential dollars to recover stolen Hyundais as insurers were facing before.
Hyundai and AAA said the new coverage options would be available in "most" states, excluding Alaska, Massachusetts, and Washington, because AAA does not operate in those states.
How to Know If You Have an Affected Vehicle
If you have an affected vehicle or think you might, you can get more information at the official HyundaiAntiTheft.com website.
If you aren't able to get the software update for your car, Hyundai is offering a program for no-cost steering wheel locks or other anti-theft devices, like alarm kits. Every Hyundai vehicle built since November 2021 has a built-in engine immobilizer.
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Sebastian Blanco has been writing about electric vehicles, hybrids, and hydrogen cars since 2006. His articles and car reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Automotive News, Reuters, SAE, Autoblog, InsideEVs, Trucks.com, Car Talk, and other outlets. His first green-car media event was the launch of the Tesla Roadster, and since then he has been tracking the shift away from gasoline-powered vehicles and discovering the new technology's importance not just for the auto industry, but for the world as a whole. Throw in the recent shift to autonomous vehicles, and there are more interesting changes happening now than most people can wrap their heads around. You can find him on Twitter or, on good days, behind the wheel of a new EV.