LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – It all started as a TikTok challenge: online users exposing a security issue that made older model Hyundai’s and Kia’s easier to steal. Auto makers have been taking action, but thieves are still targeting those cars.

Now, Hyundai Motor America is teaming up with Las Vegas Metro Police Department to put a stop to these crimes.

They’re hosting a free pop-up software update event this Friday to Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the parking lot at Metro Police Headquarters downtown, 400 S. Martin Luther King Boulevard. Hyundai drivers can get their car’s software updated with an immobilizer technology that uses a sensor in the key fob to disable the car from starting and help prevent thefts.

“Last year in February of 2023, we launched the software solution for 3.7 million Hyundai vehicles that have a key turn to start ignition system,” said David VandeLinde, Vice President of Hyundai Motor America. “And then in July, we realized that it may be difficult for some people to just find the time to get to their dealership.”

Metro say in the Las Vegas Valley, more than 22,000 cars are at risk of theft if they’re not updated.

That’s why they’re hosting this pop-up software update clinic in their parking lot at Metro headquarters downtown this Friday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The software update only takes about 20 to 30 minutes, it’s free, no appointment necessary, and they’ll have snacks and AC to keep you comfortable while you wait.

“Our event is specifically here to do what the police call ‘hardening the target,’ to be able to add the software, add the additional visual and mechanical of the steering wheel lock to really help prevent that type of theft that’s been popularized on TikTok,” said VandeLinde.

The software update is only for turnkey Hyundais made before November of 2021, since keyless cars and models made after that date already have this technology built in.

But even if you have a newer model, you can still come to the event to double check that everything’s working properly.

They’ll also give you a free steering wheel lock and a sticker to put on your car to warn potential thieves that the software is up to date.

“It’s really meant to send a message to anyone that wants to break into the vehicle that even if they do try and break in, they’re not going to be able to start the vehicle like they think they may be,” said VandeLinde.


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