Kia America announced today that it is unveiling an additional security measure to support its customers in response to criminals using methods of theft popularized on social media to steal or attempt to steal certain vehicle models. This new hardware modification—an ignition cylinder protector—is designed for the vehicles that are not eligible for the security software upgrade that Kia introduced earlier this year and works to combat theft by reinforcing the ignition cylinder body and preventing its removal through the method of theft promoted in videos that have spread across social media encouraging criminal activity.
This additional modification will be available beginning December 20 through a free Customer Satisfaction Initiative for the models that are not eligible for the software upgrade. Following the completion of the installation, each vehicle will be affixed with window decals to inform would-be car thieves that the vehicle is equipped with enhanced theft protection.
Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of significant steps Kia has taken and continues to take to support its customers and communities that have been impacted by criminals using methods of theft promoted on social media to VP Marketing COO KIA AMERICA NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Russell wager (Dec 24, 2023 07:49 PST) steal or attempt to steal certain Kia vehicles. In addition to this ignition cylinder protector, Kia has also designed a software upgrade that further enhances a vehicle’s security by restricting the operation of a vehicle’s ignition system should a potential criminal attempt to steal a locked vehicle without the key, and the company continues to strongly encourage eligible customers to have this software upgrade installed. Since January, dealers have installed the anti-theft software upgrade on close to 940,000 vehicles, and Kia has hosted multiple temporary software upgrade clinics to assist local dealers with installation in key cities with many more planned in early 2024.
Kia also continues to provide free steering wheel locks directly to affected owners of vehicles that are not eligible for the software upgrade, and the company is also working with local law enforcement agencies and public officials to distribute them as well. These free steering wheel locks further enhance the vehicle’s security and can serve as a visual deterrent for potential car thieves. To date, Kia has distributed more than 325,000 locks and will continue to provide them as they are needed. Earlier this year, the company also announced an agreement that will allow customers who have been impacted by vehicle thefts to receive additional benefits.
“Vehicle security is a top priority for Kia and we continue to take action to support our customers by helping to protect their vehicles from thefts, which have been encouraged by content spread across social media,” said Greg Silvestri, vice president, service operations, Kia America. “Reinforcing the ignition cylinder body is the latest step to help guard against these methods of theft and we strongly encourage owners of vehicles that don’t have engine immobilizers and are not able to receive our security software upgrade to have this free security measure installed.”
Kia is notifying impacted owners about this new anti-theft Customer Satisfaction Initiative through multiple points of contact with instructions to bring their vehicle to the nearest Kia dealership to have the free ignition protector installed. More information is available at https://ksupport.kiausa.com/ConsumerAffairs/SWLD, where customers can input their vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to confirm eligibility for the software or protector installation.
Subset of Eligible Vehicles with Key Operated Ignition System
▪ 2011 – 2016 Sportage
▪ 2011 – 2016 Forte
▪ 2010 – 2022 Soul
▪ 2011 – 2021 Rio
▪ 2014 Sedona