Hundreds of Kias and Hyundais have been stolen in the area in recent months thanks to the viral “Kia Challenge,” and New York owners are desperate to prevent it from happening to them. 

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Many pre-2021 Kia and Hyundai models are now known to have a vulnerability in their ignition system that makes it easy to start the vehicle without a key. A video demonstrating the hack went viral on TikTok last July, leading to thousands of vehicle thefts across the country.

A solution that’s gaining traction online across New York state is to hide an Apple AirTag somewhere discreet in your vehicle, the logic being that you’ll be able to track the vehicle’s location if it’s taken and help assist police in finding your car.

Many victims of the “Kia Challenge” are finding out the hard way that this doesn’t work. 

If you’re considering buying an Apple AirTag to help prevent the theft of your vehicle, you’ll want to read this first. 

Why AirTags Won’t Prevent Your Kia Or Hyundai From Getting Stolen

Apple AirTags are great for helping to locate your keys, wallet, or other small items that are often misplaced around the house. If you lose something that is attached to an AirTag, the popular tracking device sends out a Bluetooth signal that can be detected by another Apple phone, computer, or iPad nearby using their “Find My” network.

Technically speaking, you should be able to track any item you attach to an AirTag - whether it be something small like a purse or something large like a vehicle - even if it is far away from your current location. As long as it is in range of another Apple device (ex: the thief who took your car has an iPhone, or it’s driven to a public place with an iPhone nearby), you should be able to see where it is.

Here’s the thing, though.

Apple equipped its AirTags with features that will recognize when the tracker is not near the main device that is paired with it. After a while, when your vehicle is far enough away from you, the AirTag will start to beep.

This feature was meant to prevent creepy incidents like using an AirTag to follow a stranger’s location. However, it will also alert whoever stole your car that there’s an AirTag hidden in there, and they can easily dispose of it and drive on their way - making it even tougher to find your car.

You could buy an Apple AirTag to track your car for your peace of mind, but it could end up being a waste of money. The only real steps you can take to help prevent your car from being stolen in a “Kia Challenge” is to invest in a steering wheel lock or security system - or, sadly, trade in your Kia or Hyundai for another brand of vehicle.

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