Home Blog Maintenance KIA Combating Recent Theft with New Free Software Upgrade for Eligible Customers

February 13, 2023 by Anne Kelley

KIA Combating Recent Theft with New Free Software Upgrade for Eligible Customers

Professional car thief hacking ignition lock, criminal lifestyle. Hooded male robber breaks vehicle security system on parking. Auto robbery, automobile crime

In the last few months, reports of break-ins and thefts of older Kia models have been on the rise. Kia states that Kia Models from 2010-2021 with a “steel key” and a “turn-to-start” ignition system are at a higher risk of theft. The influx of theft has been traced back to a challenge on Tik Tok, which teaches and encourages others to break into older Kia and Hyundais models.

What Kia is Doing to Address the Issue

Kia is taking this seriously, and if your car’s model is included in the vehicles at risk, you possibly have already received a letter from Kia in the mail concerning the software update needed to prevent this issue in the future. Kia has also begun providing local law enforcement free steering wheel lock devices to hand out to Kia owners at no cost.

According to Kia, the development of the software patch is already done. Once a customer receives a letter from Kia, they will have 18 months to receive the software upgrade, with the final date to receive the fix being August 1, 2024. The upgrade will be provided free of charge for those eligible.

Schedule your update with us now!

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Kia Amendments to Eligible Customers

Vehicles Equipped with a Remote Start Accessory

To address recent social media “challenges” encouraging young people to break-in and steal certain Kia vehicles with steel key and “turn-to-start” ignition systems, Kia recently sent you a letter advising that we have developed a software upgrade that can be installed on your vehicle free of charge to restrict operation of the vehicle’s ignition system should your locked vehicle be the subject of a break-in and theft attempt without the key.

Since the launch of this software upgrade, Kia has identified a compatibility issue involving vehicles equipped with a remote start accessory which results in the activation of the burglar alarm when the remote start is used. Therefore, we would like to delay installation of the software upgrade until we can investigate and address this compatibility issue. Of course, affected customers may choose to proceed with the software upgrade despite this issue with the remote start accessory.

We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to providing you with an update regarding this issue in the near future. If you have any questions, you may contact the Kia Customer Care Team online at kia.com (Owners>Contact Us) or via phone at 800.333.4Kia (4542).

Vehicles Equipped with Push Button Start

To address recent social media “challenges” encouraging young people to break-in and steal certain Kia vehicles with steel key and “turn-to-start” ignition systems, Kia recently sent you a letter advising that we have developed a software upgrade that can be installed on your vehicle free of charge to restrict operation of the vehicle’s ignition system should your locked vehicle be the subject of a break-in and theft attempt without the key.

Unfortunately, that letter was sent to you in error.  Our records indicate that your vehicle is equipped with an electronic engine immobilizer and is NOT equipped with a steel key and “turn-to-start” ignition system.  Therefore, it is not one of the vehicles targeted for theft by the social media challenge and does not require a software upgrade.

Information about the function of the electronic engine immobilizer is included in your vehicle’s Owner’s Manual.

We apologize for the inconvenience of this miscommunication.  If you have any questions, you may contact the Kia Customer Care Team online at kia.com

(Owners>Contact Us) or via phone at 800.333.4Kia (4542).

Posted in: Maintenance, Service


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