TikTok is the app of fads and viral challenges. While some of them have nothing wrong with them or are neutral in nature, as happened with the “disinfluencers” (the influencers who tell you what not to buy), other fads on the social network, such as a beauty filter, BORGs and, above all, the Benadryl challenge, can be dangerous and very harmful, especially for younger users.
Now, according to The Verge, the well-known brands Hyundai and Kia have just reached a $200 million settlement after being sued in the U.S. Why? You’re probably already guessing: for a viral TikTok challenge.
The aforementioned TikTok challenge is called the “Kia Challenge” (“Desafío Kia” in Spanish), and it consists of… stealing cars. Yes, TikTok challenges are now also criminal. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Administration, this challenge has reportedly led to hundreds of car thefts across the country, which were then used to carry out violent crimes, including 14 accidents and 8 fatalities.
The criminals called themselves “the Kia Boyz“, and disseminated videos on TikTok and YouTube where they instructed their followers on how to circumvent the security of Kia and Hyundai vehicles using a simple USB cable, among other equally simple tools. The choice of these brands is due to the fact that vehicles manufactured between 2015 and 2019 lack electric immobilizers that prevent the lock from being forced and override the contact.
After being sued for not providing sufficient means to prevent this wave of vehicle thefts, Kia and Hyundai have reached a million-dollar settlement for the 9 million vehicles affected in the United States. In addition, the agreement reached by the brands would include a compensation of up to 145 million dollars for the losses suffered by consumers whose vehicles were stolen, according to Reuters.
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