Victims Of ‘Kia Challenge’ To Sue Kia And Hyundai

Victims of the Kia Challenge are organizing a lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai in Orange County, California.

According to a press release, MLG Attorneys, representing victims of the supposed social media car theft craze, are seeking «monetary damages against the automakers, as well as initiation of a nationwide recall» of Kias and Hyundais.

For those unfamiliar with the craze that allegedly swept the nation’s youth this summer, the «Kia Challenge» refers to a series of Kia and Hyundai car thefts that were alleged to have been posted to TikTok for social media clout. The thieves take advantage of the cars’ lack of engine immobilizers, which allow the cars to be easily hotwired with a USB cord and a screwdriver.

The Kia Challenge became a moral panic over the summer after an Indiana woman blamed her recent car theft on a «Kia Challenge» taking over TikTok. Once there was a social media bogeyman attached to the story, multiple news outlets picked it up, warning Americans about TikTok teens coming to steal their cars for clout.

However, there’s evidence to suggest that news coverage may have conjured a «Kia Challenge» into being. That Indiana woman was likely referring to a group of teens known as the «Kia Boyz,» who had been stealing Hyundais and Kias with the USB cord method for over a year before the «Kia Challenge» became a national scandal. In May of this year, YouTuber Tommy G posted a short documentary on the Kia Boyz. In that video, a supposed Kia Boy shows how the thefts are performed.

It wasn’t until the Indiana woman invented the phrase «Kia Challenge» in July of 2022 that the car thefts became a national scandal. However, TikTok itself had no videos of drivers actively performing car thefts under the phrase «Kia Challenge.» There were videos of the Kia Boyz driving recklessly in stolen cars and some videos showing how the Kias and Hyundais could be hotwired, but that itself was not new to TikTok in July of 2022.

At the time, we opined that «It’s entirely possible that so many media organizations warning others about the Kia Challenge may conjure the Kia Challenge into existence.» In Chicago, Kia and Hyundai car thefts, blamed on the «Kia Challenge,» were reported to be up 767% in Chicago during July and August of 2022.

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