Hyundai Motor Company Dealership. Hyundai is a South Korean Multinational Automotive Manufacturer VI


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Owners of certain Hyundai and Kia models can soon worry less about whether their cars may be stolen. The twin South Korean automakers are rolling out a software update to fix a security weakness in millions of late-model cars. 

The cars' vulnerability to theft was highlighted by a TikTok challenge that went viral in 2021 and is believed to have led to an increase in car thefts and at least 14 reported crashes and eight fatalities.

The vehicles lack an ignition immobilizer that prevents the cars from being started without an authorized key. Thieves have been able to steal the cars by using a USB cable and a screwdriver, a method detailed in the TikTok challenge videos. 

The software update the automakers are rolling out extends the vehicles' alarm to 1 minute from 30 seconds and requires the key to be in the ignition to turn on the vehicles.

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