You may have heard that there has been an uptick in car theft over the last couple years. Many of the vehicles being stolen are those made by Kia or Hyundai. Part of the reason for this is that stealing these cars went viral online, so many young people were simply following the trend.
As a parent, you may be concerned that your own child could succumb to peer pressure or make a mistake that results in legal charges. So why is this trend happening and what could it mean?
These cars are easier to steal
Generally speaking, Kias and Hyundais are not being stolen for their value, but simply because there’s a trick that makes it easier to take them. The vast majority of vehicles from other manufacturers have devices known as immobilizers, but Kia and Hyundai use these far less often. At one point, only about a quarter of the new vehicles they were making had these installed.
As a result, it is relatively simple to bypass the turnkey ignition system and start the vehicle. This doesn’t work in Kia or Hyundai vehicles that have push button start systems, at least not as easily. So vehicles that are being targeted tend to be older models that still have steel keys instead of a key fob system.
Why are teenagers doing it?
Along with understanding why this is possible, you may just be wondering what it’s going to mean for your teen and why people are doing this. That’s a bit more problematic. Certainly, there are cases of car theft where people are trying to do it for financial reasons, selling the vehicles or parts from them, but this is not always the case. The fact that this type of theft has become an online trend means that someone with absolutely no other motivation to steal a car could become wrapped up in the trend and do something they would not ordinarily have done.
As a result, if your teen does end up facing some serious criminal charges, you need to know about all of the legal options you have.