South Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia have issued a free software patch to owners of 8.3 million 2015-2019 models in order to thwart car thieves.
The Highway Loss Data Institute says the turn-key ignition-equipped cars are about twice as likely to be stolen as other vehicles of a similar age, because many lack electronic immobilizers and other basic auto-theft prevention components.
The patch's software requires a key in the ignition to activate the vehicle, and also will block the car from being started after doors are locked using the key fob remote control; it also extends how long the alarm sounds from 30 to 60 seconds.
Hyundai will start distributing the patch immediately for the most popular—and most often stolen—vulnerable vehicles.
Kia said it has begun offering the patch to certain customers, and should make it available to affected models "over the next few months."
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