Hyundai and Kia made a monumental mistake when they decided to forgo electronic immobilizers on their cars built before 2021. The small and relatively cheap electronic device prevents the engine from starting when it doesn't detect a corresponding device integrated into the key fob. It's not bulletproof, but it makes stealing a car much more complicated, so most thieves just give up. Still, the Korean carmakers didn't think of that, either by negligence or greed. Many 2016-2021 Hyundai vehicles and all Kias built between 2011 and 2021 with a key ignition lack the electronic immobilizer.
It wasn't long before thieves and teenagers discovered they could start the engine without a key. In TikTok videos that became viral in 2021, teenagers shared how easy it is to steal a Hyundai or a Kia and challenged others to do it. From then, the news spread like fire and soon became a national problem. Stealing a Kia was cool, and "Kia Boyz" became a phenomenon.

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