Home tik tok Celebrities Parody News Lifestyle Must Watch Fashion Animals Most Featured

More Cars Reported Stolen Fueled By Tiktok Trend

Author Avatar
By Erika John - - 5 Mins Read
Close up photo of person attempting to steal a car
Car thefts reportedly on the rise | Shutterstock

TikTok has been continuously growing ever since its launch and has now become one of the most popular social media platforms. The majority of its users belong to Gen Z.

However, as a brand, it has faced severe criticism and setbacks from people all over the world.

Some countries have gone so far as to ban it, with the USA mandating ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, sell the video-sharing platform.

Despite all of this, TikTok still has some entertaining ideas, and one that stands out is the regular trends. One of these trends happens to be the car theft trend.

Until recent years, the trend of car theft hasn't caused much concern. However, the alarming surge in car thefts across the United States has become a cause for worry.

The emergence of viral videos on TikTok showcasing easy methods for stealing vehicles has led to a significant increase in the number of cars reported stolen. Suspects in these cases include both teenagers and adults.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has released data indicating a steady increase in motor vehicle thefts since 2019.

In 2022, the total number of thefts surpassed 1 million, suggesting that little progress has been made in combating this rising crime.

This trend has not slowed down, with almost half a million vehicles stolen in the first half of 2023. This number highlights the severity of auto theft and the growing number of victims each year.


Table indicating number of stolen vehicles from January to July 2023
Number of car thefts by state from January to July 2023 | MarketWatch


The rise in thefts can be attributed to a crucial factor: viral TikTok videos. These videos show how simple breaking in and stealing specific vehicle models is.

The "Kia Challenge" is a prime example, as it gained popularity on social media platforms.

The video demonstrated bypassing security features in Kia and Hyundai vehicles with basic tools such as a USB cable.

These methods have made stealing cars more convenient for thieves and people who want to fit in with society. This has led to an increase in stolen vehicles across the country.

Various cities across the U.S. have reported large numbers of Kia and Hyundai thefts, leading to lawsuits against the companies and complaints about their poor security system.

Kia Picanto car pictured
Kia Picanto | Michail Dementiev/Unsplash

In Seattle, the city's attorney reported that about 75% of cars stolen in August 2023 were Kias or Hyundais, while in Minneapolis, the same was experienced with 1,900 specific car thefts in just six months.

Similarly, Charlotte, North Carolina, saw a remarkable 2,000% increase in Kia and Hyundai thefts in these passing years.

The Harrisburg Police Department has also brought attention to the concerning problem.

Sergeant Antwyn Chatman, a department spokesperson, states that in 2023, there have been over 340 cases of car theft, which have been instigated by a harmful social media trend.

Also read: 5 Must-See Viral Videos That Rocked 2023


“Online young people saw that vehicles, particularly Hyundais, were easy to access. To a degree, because they’re young people, it seemed like a challenge. I can get three today, four tomorrow, but it’s at the cost of the owner," the sergeant stated.

Auto makers Kia and Hyundai have attempted to tackle the weaknesses in their cars by introducing measures such as installing steering wheel locks and issuing software updates, but the issue remains unresolved.

Numerous affected models remain vulnerable to theft, causing owners to be understandably worried about their vehicles' safety and security.

Furthermore, social media trends constantly change, creating new obstacles for law enforcement and manufacturers.

Car owners should take extra precautions to protect their vehicles and deal with the ongoing crises. This involves being watchful of where and how they park, purchasing security products, staying updated on the latest theft trends, and acquiring prevention strategies.