By Moses Akaigwe

Kia America has announced that it is unveiling an additional security measure to support its customers in response to criminals using methods of theft popularised on social media to steal or attempt to steal certain vehicle models. \

This new hardware modification—an ignition cylinder protector—is designed for the vehicles that are not eligible for the security software upgrade that Kia introduced last year and works to combat theft by reinforcing the ignition cylinder body and preventing its removal through the method of theft promoted in videos that have spread across social media encouraging criminal activity.

This additional modification was scheduled to be available through a free Customer Satisfaction Initiative for the models that are not eligible for the software upgrade. Following the completion of the installation, each vehicle will be affixed with window decals to inform would-be car thieves that the vehicle is equipped with enhanced theft protection.

The announcement is the latest in a series of significant steps Kia has taken and continues to take to support its customers and communities that have been impacted by criminals using methods of theft promoted on social media to steal or attempt to steal certain Kia vehicles.

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In addition to this ignition cylinder protector, Kia has also designed a software upgrade that further enhances a vehicle’s security by restricting the operation of a vehicle’s ignition system should a potential criminal attempt to steal a locked vehicle without the key, and the company continues to strongly encourage eligible customers to have this software upgrade installed.

Since January 2023, dealers have installed the anti-theft software upgrade on close to 940,000 vehicles, and Kia has hosted multiple temporary software upgrade clinics to assist local dealers with installation in key cities with many more planned in early 2024.

Kia also continues to provide free steering wheel locks directly to affected owners of vehicles that are not eligible for the software upgrade, and the company is also working with local law enforcement agencies and public officials to distribute them as well.

These free steering wheel locks further enhance the vehicle’s security and can serve as a visual deterrent for potential car thieves. To date, Kia has distributed more than 325,000 locks and will continue to provide them as they are needed.

The Kia brand is represented in Nigeria by Kia Motors Nigeria which operates an assembly plant in Lagos where it produces vehicles for the local market.