RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. – Heads up, Kia owners. You can take your vehicle to the St. Louis Galleria this weekend and get new anti-theft software installed in your car for free.
Kia America is holding a software upgrade service center event this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, Kia owners can visit a mobile clinic for a software upgrade.
This comes in an effort to reduce Kia thefts around the St. Louis region. The City of St. Louis and St. Louis County both reported 10 times as many Hyundai and Kia vehicle thefts in 2022 compared to previous years.
Police claim the ability to steal a Kia or Hyundai became wide-known from a TikTok trend earlier this year, leading to a spike in such thefts not only in St. Louis, but also nationwide. Many believe these videos first started gaining attention on YouTube last year.
According to Kia, the upgrade offered this weekend are “designed to restrict the operation of the vehicle’s ignition system should a criminal try to steal a locked vehicle without the owner’s key through those methods.” Kia adds the upgrades have been installed in nearly 800,000 vehicles across the county so far.
The software upgrade is expected to take around 30 minutes. Kia owners hoping to take advantage should head to the Galleria parking lot at 1155 St. Louis Galleria St.