MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police announced Tuesday they are offering more free steering wheel locks for KIA, Hyundai, and Infiniti vehicle owners.
Those interested can pick one up by visiting their local precinct. Proof of vehicle registration and Memphis residency are required.
MPD is passing out wheel locks specifically to owners of Kia, Hyundai, and Infiniti owners because of a sharp uptick in thefts of those models.
Some car insurance companies have stopped covering Hyundai and Kia models due to thefts. The change applies to new policies, not those for existing customers.
The sharp uptick has been linked to viral videos, posted to TikTok and other social media platforms, teaching people how to start the cars with USB cables and exploit a security vulnerability in some models sold in the U.S. without engine immobilizers, a standard feature on most cars since the 1990s preventing the engine from starting unless the key is present.
According to MPD data, there has been over 9,000 passenger vehicle thefts so far this year.