Hyundai, AAA Offer Options for Customers Affected by TikTok-Inspired Thefts


Hyundai Motor America and independently operated AAA insurers on April 13 announced a program to offer insurance options in most states for owners of certain Hyundai vehicles without push-button ignitions and immobilizing anti-theft devices. 

Under the program, AAA insurers will issue new and renewal policies for eligible affected Hyundai customers. Consumers can visit to receive a quote.

"We are pleased to collaborate with AAA insurers in the best interest of our shared customers and provide support for those who were having difficulty securing and sustaining auto insurance as a result of the increased criminal activity targeting Hyundai vehicles," said Randy Parker, CEO, Hyundai Motor America.

"AAA is about taking care of people," said Marshall Doney, CEO and president for AAA, Inc. "Collaborating with Hyundai on this issue to help provide customers with a viable solution felt like a natural fit for us."

Hyundai has also expedited the roll out of the free anti-theft software upgrade for affected vehicles. All of the nearly 4 million vehicles involved will be eligible for the upgrade this week, two months ahead of the original schedule. The software upgrade is designed to prevent the vehicles from starting during a method of theft popularized on TikTok and other social media channels.

"Our goal is to get every one of these vehicles into a dealership for the free software upgrade," added Parker.

Additionally, for a smaller group of 2011-2022 model year vehicles that cannot accommodate the software upgrade, Hyundai will reimburse those owners for their purchase of steering wheel locks. Hyundai is also preparing to provide this subset of customers with the option of obtaining reimbursement to offset their purchase of a different anti-theft device, such as an alarm kit. Interested customers can visit for more information.

All Hyundai vehicles produced since November 2021 are equipped with an engine immobilizer as standard equipment. In addition, Hyundai continues to work with more than 450 law enforcement agencies across the country to provide no-cost steering wheel locks to affected communities.

To generate awareness of the software upgrade and drive completion rates among customers, Hyundai is actively promoting This site provides affected customers with information on available solutions and directs them to schedule an appointment at a local dealer if their vehicle lacks an engine immobilizer and is eligible for the software upgrade.

The software upgrade modifies certain vehicle control modules on Hyundai vehicles equipped with standard "turn-key-to-start" ignition systems. As a result, locking the doors with the key fob will set the factory alarm and activate an "ignition kill" feature so the vehicles cannot be started when subjected to the popularized theft mode. Customers must use the key fob to unlock their vehicles in order to deactivate the "ignition kill" feature.

The free upgrade will be performed by Hyundai dealers and will take less than one hour for installation. Following completion of the upgrade, each vehicle will be affixed with window decals to alert would-be thieves that the vehicle is equipped with enhanced anti-theft technology.

The insurance program will be available in all states with the exception of those states where AAA does not offer insurance: Alaska, Massachusetts and Washington.

Source: Hyundai Motor America

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