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Car theft in NYC continues to climb

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Trying out social media trends can lead to trouble, as seen in the rising rates of car theft across the nation. In New York City, the Kia Challenge is causing some trouble for car owners.

What started as a social media challenge is leading to life-altering consequences for some, with more occurrences of car theft in 2023 than at the same time last year.

Leading brands for car theft

In NYC, three brands make up almost half of the cars stolen in the last year. These include Hyundai, Kia and Honda.  Viral TikTok videos show how easy it is to exploit a security flaw in these cars. From some accounts, all it takes is a screwdriver and iPhone charging cable.

The increase in risks for car owners of these brands was so great that State Farm temporarily paused insuring certain Hyundai and Kia models. Both Hyundai and Kia started rolling out software updates to the models most vulnerable to theft. New York City filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers for the expenses the thefts caused the municipality.

Devastating consequences for car thieves

Hundreds of car thefts across the city are still unsolved, leaving many excited to jump on the Kia challenge. However, consider the consequences for those thinking of giving it a try. Grand larceny charges could end up as felony charges with convictions leading to jail time, fines, community service or probation.

If you or someone you know got caught up in the hype of the Kia Challenge and are facing legal consequences consider working with an attorney who can help handle charges of car theft.