IRVINE, Calif. – In a proactive response to the rise of vehicle thefts influenced by social media trends, Kia America has introduced a new security measure for its customers. The company is rolling out a free ignition cylinder protector device for certain vehicle models, particularly those not covered by its earlier security software upgrade. This hardware modification, available from December 20, is aimed at reinforcing the ignition cylinder body, thereby hindering theft methods that have gained popularity on social media.
This latest move comes as part of Kia’s ongoing efforts to safeguard its vehicles against theft. The ignition cylinder protector will be provided through a Customer Satisfaction Initiative, targeting specific models ineligible for the software upgrade. Vehicles fitted with this modification will also display window decals, alerting potential thieves to the enhanced security measures.
Kia’s commitment to customer safety extends beyond this hardware modification. The company has already installed anti-theft software upgrades in approximately 940,000 vehicles since January and plans to continue these installations through local software upgrade clinics in partnership with Kia dealers across the U.S. These clinics are expected to gain momentum in early 2024.
In addition to software and hardware upgrades, Kia has been distributing free steering wheel locks to owners of vulnerable vehicles. These locks, exceeding 325,000 in distribution, act as an additional deterrent to vehicle theft. The company is also collaborating with law enforcement and public officials to distribute these locks.
Greg Silvestri, Vice President of Service Operations at Kia America, emphasizes the company’s dedication to vehicle security. He urges owners, especially those with vehicles lacking engine immobilizers and ineligible for software upgrades, to take advantage of this free security measure.
Impacted owners are being notified about this new anti-theft initiative, with instructions to visit their nearest Kia dealership for the installation of the free ignition protector. Further details and eligibility information can be found at Kia’s Support Site, where vehicle owners can enter their VIN.
Eligible vehicles for this initiative include key-operated ignition systems in select model years of the Sportage, Forte, Soul, Rio, and Sedona. This comprehensive approach by Kia America showcases its commitment to customer safety and proactive steps in combating vehicle theft influenced by social media.