Baltimore Police And Thompson Hyundai Offer Anti-Theft Upgrades Amid Rising Vehicle Thefts


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BALTIMORE COUNTY - Amid a rising number of thefts involving specific Hyundai models, the Baltimore County Police Department has announced a special event to provide Hyundai owners with vital anti-theft software upgrades and steering wheel locks.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 7, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Thompson Hyundai in Dundalk. At the location, trained mobile service technicians will be ready to install the software upgrades, a process that's estimated to take around 20 minutes per vehicle. The service is on a first-come, first-served basis.

A recent social media trend challenges teens to steal a car off the street by breaking into the car, popping off the steering wheel column, and hot-wiring the vehicle using a USB cable.

Specific makes and models of 2010-2021 Kia and Hyundai vehicles that use a mechanical key, not a key fob and push-button to start the car, are vulnerable to the attack. These vehicles are not equipped with an "immobilizer," a device that prevents a car from moving if the wrong key or no key is used to start the vehicle.

In February, Hyundai started rolling out software updates for nearly four million vehicles, beginning with Elantras manufactured between 2017-2020, Sonatas made between 2015-2019 and 2020-2021 Venue vehicles.

The update extends the length of the car alarm from 30 seconds to one minute and requires the key to be in the ignition switch to turn the vehicle on.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 3.8 million Hyundais and 4.5 million Kias are eligible for the update.

Hyundai owners can check their vehicle's eligibility for the upgrade by visiting:

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