Dangerous new TikTok trend prompts warnings about car thefts

Owners of a particular car model have been warned they could be targeted after an alarming new TikTok trend went viral.

The Kia challenge emerged earlier this month, and involves people starting a car with a USB cable instead of a key.

It started when TikTok user @robbierayyy posted a video starting up a Kia using only a USB cable.

Camera IconHusband and wife Kim and Bill recently had their car broken into. Credit: Channel 9

The video has since been removed.

It quickly evolved with other users participating to see if the trick would hot-wire their cars.

But the trend has dangerous consequences and has been linked to an uptick in car thefts overseas.

It’s a story that Bill Gardiner and wife Kim know all too well. They told A Current Affair their brand new Kia had recently become victim to the craze.

Footage shows that in the dead of night two people smash the video of the vehicle.

Husband and wife Kim and Bill who had their car recently broken into.
Camera IconThe offenders could be seen on CCTV. Credit: Channel 9

“From there you can see one of the offenders standing in the middle of the street on his phone, it’s like he’s videotaping the person inside the car or yelling out the instructions,” Bill told Nine.

The would-be thieves eventually gave up after they were unable to start the car.

But the two offenders attempted to try the same trick on another Kia parked doors down from Kim.

Both cars had the same damage: a broken rear window and the casing removed from around the steering column.

Husband and wife Kim and Bill who had their car recently broken into.
Camera IconHusband and wife Kim and Bill urged Kia owners to park their cars somewhere safe. Credit: Channel 9

Kim said once she had been alerted to the TikTok trend, the damage caused by the offenders “made perfect sense”.

The husband and wife urged Kia owners to park their cars in a garage or somewhere safe at night.

“I would say now it has gone viral in the United States, that there will be a few more of these popping up over the next week or so,” said Bill.

TikTok is encouraging anyone who comes across any ‘Kia Challenge’ videos to report them so they can be removed.

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