Kia Introduces New Theft Deterrent Device

January 2nd, 2024 by

Kia America has announced a new security measure to prevent vehicle theft of certain vulnerable models.  This is part of Kia’s continued support of car owners who may be affected by a string of thefts popularized by social media. Kia is providing an ignition cylinder protector, designed for vehicles that are not eligible for the security software update that Kia introduced earlier this year and has been rolling out to affected owners. This new protection method reinforces the ignition cylinder body, preventing its removal through a method that has been spread across social media posts encouraging criminal theft activity.

This hardware upgrade is now available for free through a Customer Satisfaction Initiative. Once the hardware is installed, the vehicle’s window will be affixed with a decal to inform potential car thieves that the car is equipped with enhanced theft protection. The following vehicles are the subset of vehicles with a key-operated ignition system eligible for this hardware installation.

  • 2011 – 2016 Sportage
  • 2011 – 2016 Forte
  • 2010 – 2022 Soul
  • 2011 – 2021 Rio
  • 2014 Sedona

This is simply the latest of Kia’s significant steps to support its customers and communities that have been impacted by criminals using these theft methods introduced by social media trends. The previously mentioned software upgrade enhances a vehicle’s security by restricting the operation of the vehicle’s ignition system should a criminal attempt to steal a locked vehicle without the key. In the last year, dealers have installed this anti-theft security software on nearly 940,000 vehicles. Kia has also hosted multiple software upgrade clinics to assist local dealers with installation, with more clinics planned for early 2024. If you’re looking to find out if your car is vulnerable or eligible for the software upgrade, come see us at Kia Country of Charleston, where we’re always ready to help you fully protect your vehicle.

Kia is also continuing to offer free steering wheel locks directly to affected owners who aren’t eligible for the software upgrade. Local law enforcement and police are assisting in distributing these free security devices to car owners. Kia has distributed more than 325,000 steering wheel locks so far and will continue to provide them as needed.

“Vehicle security is a top priority for Kia and we continue to take action to support our customers by helping to protect their vehicles from thefts, which have been encouraged by content spread across social media,” said Greg Silvestri, vice president, of service operations, Kia America. “Reinforcing the ignition cylinder body is the latest step to help guard against these methods of theft and we strongly encourage owners of vehicles that don’t have engine immobilizers and are not able to receive our security software upgrade to have this free security measure installed.”

Kia is working to notify impacted owners about this new anti-theft security feature installation through multiple points of contact. If you are an impacted owner in the Charleston area, you’ll be instructed to bring your car here to us at Kia Country of Charleston to have the free ignition protector installed.

More information can be found at, where customers can input their vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to confirm eligibility for the software or protector installation.