Filed Under: Tech

Buffalo police: deadly car crash possibly linked to TikTok challenge

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According to Buffalo, New York Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, a car crash that killed four teens Monday morning may have been linked to a TikTok challenge. The so-called Kia challenge, first posted over the summer, shows how to hot-wire Kia and Hyundai cars with a USB cord and a screwdriver. Many police departments around the country have reported increases in Kia and Hyundai thefts since the video was posted.

According to Buffalo police, a total of six teenagers were in a speeding Kia when it crashed. The car had reportedly been stolen the previous night.

All five of the passengers were ejected from the vehicle. The four who were killed ranged in age from 14 to 17. The fifth passenger was hospitalized in intensive care. The 16-year-old driver was treated at a hospital and released. They were then ticketed for criminal possession of stolen property and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

The Erie County district attorney’s office is investigating the crash, and may officially determine whether or not the car theft was related to the TikTok challenge. A spokesperson for the office said it expected to file additional charges.

A class-action lawsuit filed in September in Orange County, California, alleges that Kias built between 2011 and 2021 as well as Hyundais built from 2015 to 2021 lack anti-theft parts called engine immobilizers. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages from the automakers and a nationwide recall, arguing that the cars are easier to steal than other models.

The Kia challenge is one of several TikTok challenges to be labeled as dangerous. The app itself has also been declared a high security risk by the chief administrative officer for the House of Representatives.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

TIK-TOK CHALLENGES ARE PART OF A NEW AGE.
SOME CAN BE FUN…OFTEN TIMES IT’S VIRAL DANCES…OR COOKING ‘HOW TO’ VIDEOS…OR DOWNING A WHOLE BOTTLE OF SPRITE.
BUT OTHER CHALLENGES HAVE PROVEN TO BE HARMFUL.
FOUR TEENAGERS ARE DEAD AND ONE IS IN CRITICAL CONDITION.
AUTHORITIES SAY…A TIK TOK CHALLENGE COULD BE TO BLAME…
AFTER A 16 YEAR OLD WAS DRIVING A STOLEN KIA AND CRASHED.
THE CHALLENGE GOING VIRAL…IS CALLED THE ‘KIA CHALLENGE.’
IT TEACHES VIEWERS HOW TO HOTWIRE AND STEAL A KIA OR HYUNDAI USING A SCREWDRIVER AND A USB CORD.
THEN PROCEEDS TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO TRY IT.
SINCE THE FIRST VIDEO WENT VIRAL OVER THE SUMMER…POLICE DEPARTMENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY HAVE REPORTED A RISE IN KIA AND HYUNDAI CAR THEFTS.
THE TWO CAR MAKERS ARE FACING LAWSUITS — ALLEGING THE LACK OF ‘ANTI-THEFT PROTECTIONS’ HAS MADE THEM EASY TARGETS FOR THIEVES.

According to Buffalo, New York Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, a car crash that killed four teens Monday morning may have been linked to a TikTok challenge. The so-called Kia challenge, first posted over the summer, shows how to hot-wire Kia and Hyundai cars with a USB cord and a screwdriver. Many police departments around the country have reported increases in Kia and Hyundai thefts since the video was posted.

According to Buffalo police, a total of six teenagers were in a speeding Kia when it crashed. The car had reportedly been stolen the previous night.

All five of the passengers were ejected from the vehicle. The four who were killed ranged in age from 14 to 17. The fifth passenger was hospitalized in intensive care. The 16-year-old driver was treated at a hospital and released. They were then ticketed for criminal possession of stolen property and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

The Erie County district attorney’s office is investigating the crash, and may officially determine whether or not the car theft was related to the TikTok challenge. A spokesperson for the office said it expected to file additional charges.

A class-action lawsuit filed in September in Orange County, California, alleges that Kias built between 2011 and 2021 as well as Hyundais built from 2015 to 2021 lack anti-theft parts called engine immobilizers. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages from the automakers and a nationwide recall, arguing that the cars are easier to steal than other models.

The Kia challenge is one of several TikTok challenges to be labeled as dangerous. The app itself has also been declared a high security risk by the chief administrative officer for the House of Representatives.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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