Starting a Kia or a Hyundai car with just a USB cablethats what thieves have discovered, and they’ve spread the message quickly on TikTok.

About 75% of them were manufactured and imported into the U.S. without that immobilizer. They’re not required by the United States, said James McGuffin, director at Arizona Automobile Theft Authority.

That created a vulnerability where you didn’t need a key and then the USB cable, which was made, you know famous by the TikTok videos that allowed for that ignition to be turned, said McGuffin.

The trend first became popular late last year, but the problem has continued into this year.

We saw the highest numbers, actually, in March of this year. But fortunately, April has shown a decrease across the state, said McGuffin.

While theres been a decrease since Kia and Hyundai have released software updates to fix the hack, drivers who havent patched the problem remain vulnerable.

The statewide average tells us about 175 Kias and Hyundais are stolen a month and of that in Pima County, about 35 of those vehicles are stolen each month, said McGuffin.

If police can track down your stolen car, chances are, your ignition might be broken.

Worst case scenario, they can destroy the entire steering column and then you got to replace lots and lots of components and sometimes even computers that get quite costly, said Richard Becker, the owner of Monsoon Automotive.

Becker said the cost of a broken ignition can be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to thousands.

If its just an ignition lock cylinder where we just have to re-code it to the car and put a new one in, its $250, something like that. We had a case recently on a Hyundai that they destroyed the entire steering and the insurance company ended up paying out $3,200 to fix it right, said Becker.

The automakers recently settled a $200 million class-action lawsuit from claims stating their cars are too easy to steal.

To prevent yourself from becoming the next victim to auto theft:

Kia, Hyundai owners, when they get notified that their vehicle is ready to be fixed, they get that into the dealership as quickly as possible, said Mcguffin.