Kia and Hyundai vehicles have become a hot target for would-be thieves due to their effortless ability to be started without a key.

Kias with the model year 2011 and newer and Hyundais with the model year 2015 and newer are prime targets for this type of theft as they were all built without a pushbutton ignition that allows the steering column to be accessed to start the cars.

Rick Ricart of car dealership Ricart Automotive in Columbus, Ohio, told the city's local NBC affiliate WCMH, how the theft of the cars is done.

“If it requires a key to turn the ignition, it’s a simple, under the steering column, literally a USB port could even be pushed in and twisted to start the car,” he said.

Compounding the problem is the mass sharing of this theft information on social media platforms such as YouTube and TikTok, making it simple for anyone to learn how to steal these vehicles.

“The trend appears to have gained popularity through social media where the method to start the car without a key was spread,” Ohio’s Forest Park Police Department told WXIX, a Fox affiliate out of Cincinnati.

Even Ricart has become a victim of the Kia and Hyundai crimes at his auto dealership.

“We found out about this in the hardest way possible,” Ricart said. “It was early February and we came to work one morning and we had seven vehicles missing.”

All of the stolen vehicles at Ricart Automotive were Kias and Hyundais, according to Ricart.

To keep vehicles safe from theft, Ricart told the news outlet that its best to park the car inside, lock the vehicle, and buy an immobilizer.

The Forest Park Police Department also recommends not keeping valuables in the car, investing in a steering lock device, and being sure to report any suspicious activity, especially in the evening or at night.

Ricart said that Kia and Hyundai are aware of the theft issues and are currently working on a solution to solve the problem.

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