RENTON, Wash. - In response to a rise in thefts targeting other models of Hyundai's across the state and country, the Renton Police Department is offering free steering wheel locks for certain models to deter these thefts.
Authorities attribute this spike in thefts to TikTok, where videos and groups show how to easily steal certain Hyundai's and Kia's using a USB cable.
If you have a 2021 Hyundai or older with a key start engine only, you can bring your Hyundai vehicle registration to Renton City Hall to pick up the free lock.
An appointment is necessary to pick up a steering wheel lock, and only one lock will be issued per person, per registration.
Email Cyndie Morris at email@example.com to set up an appointment.
It should be noted that while Kia's and Hyundai's are both being stolen in record numbers because of TikTok, only Hyundai has announced an agreement with Renton PD to provide the steering wheel locks.
You can also purchase the steering wheel locks on your own from area retailers and online. You can also reach out to your Kia or Hyundai dealership-- some are offering free steering wheel locks or have other security options available.
Hyundai said they have plans to offer a software update that should fix the issue associated with the older key-start Hyundai's. The software update is scheduled to be available sometime in March 2023. It will be free to customers.
If a thief wants to take a car, the steering wheel lock isn't a complete deterrent, but the idea is to slow the person down. That gives passersby more opportunity to notice the ongoings and it may deter the individual if they can't quickly steal the vehicle.