Protect your car: Linden providing free steering wheel locks for Kia, Hyundai owners amid nationwide theft wave

Both Kia and Hyundai provided a limited number of steering wheel locks to distribute to residents Friday at AMC Aviation 12 in Linden.

Lanette Espy and Ali Reid

Jun 23, 2023, 10:33 AM

Updated 367 days ago

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The Linden Police Department partnered with Hyundai and Kia to provide free steering wheel locks to car owners amid a recent surge in car thefts.
Both Kia and Hyundai provided a limited number of steering wheel locks to distribute to residents Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at AMC Aviation 12 in Linden.
Car thefts have become a nationwide issue as police say they have seen a recent surge. The thefts were amplified after a social media challenge encouraged teenagers to steal Hyundais and Kias and post the theft video on social media. Now, Linden police are hoping to help prevent this trend.
For Friday’s giveaway, residents must register through their website for the wheel lock and show proof of residency and vehicle ownership. There are specific makes and models that qualify.
Affected vehicles reportedly include:
  • 2015-2021 Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Kona, Santa Fe, and Tucson
  • 2015-2018 Hyundai Veloster
  • 2015-2021 Kia Forte, Optima, Rio, Sedona, Soul, and Sportage
  • 2015-2016 Kia Optima Hybrid and Sorento
Linden's police chief says they welcome any effort to help keep the community safe by stopping these thefts. Newark is pushing out a similar plan.
For Hyundai and Kia owners, it's important to note that engine immobilizers to correct the vulnerability of theft have been standard on all cars since November 2021. Additionally, a free software upgrade to prevent the method of theft involved in the videos is available.
For more information about affected vehicles, visit hyundaiantitheft.com or kiatheft.com. Owners can also contact Hyundai (toll-free at 800-633-5151) or Kia (toll-free at 800-333-4542) directly for more information.


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