6 young lives in Western New You have been changed forever and the more we find out about the crash, many people are looking towards the viral social media trend as a critical factor.

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During the very early morning hours on Monday, October 24, 2022, 6 teens were speeding in a stolen car that crashed in the westbound lanes of Route 33 in Buffalo, and 4 of those kids lost their lives as a result.

Law enforcement officials attribute this crash to the kids wanting to participate in the Kia Challenge, a viral trend that has been circulating on TikTok and other social media sites for the last few months.

What's The Kia Challenge

According to Car and Driver Magazine, the Kia Challenge is a viral trend that started on the TikTok, where people steal certain Kia and Hyundai models from 2010 2021 that have a physical key-based ignition, not a keyfob or push-to-start. Some of the viral videos that have been posted to social media have shown that some of these vehicles can be stolen by using just a standard USB cable or other phone charging cable.

This challenge has also been linked to a large increase in thefts of Kia and Hyundai cars as reports have skyrocketed over the last few years. Cities all across the country, including Buffalo have seen the number of thefts increase by double digits, or more since 2020. Reporting from CNBC show that some areas have seen thefts increase by more than 80%

While many of the thefts have been just kids going joyriding, law enforcement officials are also seeing car theft rings popping up around the vulnerability of these Kia and Hyundai models. A quick search of Kia Boys online shows all sorts of activity where the thefts have become quite organized and hundreds of cars are stolen per week.

This increase in thefts has not skipped Buffalo. The Buffalo Police Department has released stats that show thefts of Kia and Hyundai cars have increased more than triple since 2020 and even though the number of cars that have been stolen overall has fallen.

Car owners and law enforcement officials have been scrambling for ways to try and prevent their cars from being stolen, whether it's trying to use a wheellock or other immobilizing device, to changing where you park your car at night; something has to be done to reduce the number of thefts, and potentially save lives.

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