430,000+ vehicles in Texas need anti-theft fix. Is your car on the list?

How to get free software update for Kia or Hyundai vehicles

If you drive a Kia or Hyundai made anytime between 2011 through 2022 you’ve probably seen those Tik Tok videos that show just how easy it is to steal the vehicles. It’s been such a big issue across the country Kia and Hyundai came up with a free fix. But there are still millions of car owners that haven’t taken their vehicles in for repair.

Millions of vehicles on the road are still not repaired

There are STILL nearly five million Hyundai and Kias on the road today that can be started and stolen using nothing more than a simple USB cable. Criminals are showing others how to do it on social media. The problem is the car manufacturers built the vehicles without engine mobilizers.

This photo provided by Zenith Auto Care shows damage to a steering wheel column and ignition assembly after the car was stolen, on April 20, 2023, in North Las Vegas. A sharp uptick in thefts of Hyundais and Kias over the past two years has been linked to viral videos posted to TikTok and other social media platforms that teach people how to exploit a security vulnerability to steal the cars. (Zenith Auto Care via AP)

In February, after thefts of the cars surged, Hyundai and Kia rolled out a free software upgrade that will fix this issue. This isn’t an actual recall because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it’s not a safety issue. (Although the NHTSA does say this challenge has resulted in at least 14 reported crashes and eight fatalities.)

Kia and Hyundai have sent letters to millions of owners to let them know about the fix.

“Because these notices get sent in the mail a lot of them tend to overlook them or think that they’re some type of marketing scam or extended warranty. And instead, they’re missing the vital news that they can have their car fixed and have a lot more peace of mind that thieves are going to be held at bay,” said Patrick Olsen, Carfax.

According to Carfax - Texas ranks third out of 50 states for the most number of Kias and Hyundais that have not been fixed.

That is 433,000 unrepaired Kias and Hyundais statewide.

There are about 132,000 vehicles right here in Houston that still need repair.

How to get an anti-theft fix for your vehicle

All you have to do to get your Kia or Hyundai repaired is call your local dealership to make an appointment. The software upgrade takes about an hour.

You can contact Hyundai (toll-free at 800-633-5151) or Kia (toll-free at 800-333-4542) for information on the FREE update.

If your Kia or Hyundai is one of the older models made in 2011 there is no software upgrade but the car makers will give you a free lock for your steering wheel, so even if thieves start the vehicle, they won’t be able to drive it with the wheel lock on it.

About the Author:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.