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Kia Introduces Ignition Cylinder Protector as Additional Anti-Theft Measure for Excluded Vehicle Models

In response to persistent challenges posed by the notorious TikTok-famous Kia Boyz and a history of customer backlash and legal issues, Kia is implementing an additional theft deterrent for owners of its most vulnerable vehicles.

The latest measure takes the form of an ignition cylinder protector, a customized solution aimed at vehicles that did not qualify for the security-focused software update issued by the company last year.

Introduced on December 20, this free dealer-installed modification involves the installation of an ignition cylinder protector designed to reinforce the ignition cylinder body.

Kia asserts that this modification will thwart potential thieves attempting to exploit the same methods popularized by the TikTok trend to remove the ignition cylinder protector and ignition cover.

To enhance visibility and awareness, each vehicle receiving this modification will also be equipped with window decals, informing potential thieves about the implemented security fix.

The modification is applicable to models featuring a key-operated ignition system, including the 2011–2016 Forte, 2011–2021 Rio, 2014 Sedona, 2010–2021 Soul, and 2011–2016 Sportage.

In addition to the ignition cylinder protector, Kia had previously rolled out a security-focused software update last year as an additional layer of protection. According to the automaker, this software was installed by dealers on more than 900,000 vehicles in 2023.

Collaborating with local law enforcement, Kia is also extending support to owners of vehicles ineligible for the software update by providing free steering wheel locks. The company has already distributed over 325,000 steering wheel locks and pledges to continue offering them as needed.

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