SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Police are asking residents who have a Hyundai or Kia to ensure their vehicle’s software is updated to help prevent theft.
The theft of these vehicles has increased sharply due to a lack of engine immobilizers, a standard feature on most cars that prevents the engine from starting unless the key is present, and in part to a viral social media challenge.
According to the department, a dozen Hyundai and Kia vehicles have been stolen, and 13 were broken into in the City of Springfield this month. Police have arrested three juveniles in connection with several of these thefts.
About 3.8 million Hyundai and 4.5 million Kia vehicles are eligible for the software update. The companies announced in February that they would provide software updates for vehicles that require the key to be in the ignition switch to turn the car on. The change also updates the cars’ theft alarm software to extend the length of an alarm from 30 seconds to 1 minute.
To ensure your vehicle has the latest software, contact your local dealership.