The Baltimore County Police Department is giving away free steering wheel locks to owners of certain models of Hyundai vehicles amid a car theft trend made popular on TikTok. Photo courtesy of Baltimore County Police Department.

The Baltimore County Police Department is distributing free steering wheel locks to owners of certain models of Hyundai vehicles that have been targeted for thefts. 

A method made popular on TikTok shows how certain Hyundais and Kias can be hot-wired using a USB cord adapter as a makeshift key. This has led to a spike in thefts of Hyundais and Kia nationwide. 

More than 8 million cars are susceptible to the hack, leading some insurance companies to refuse provide coverage for them. 

“Protecting those who live, work and visit Baltimore County is our top priority and this campaign is one way we can achieve that,” said Baltimore County Police Chief Dennis Delp. 

Residents who own Hyundais made from 2016 to 2021 that do not have a key fob or a push-button start are eligible for the free lock. 

Those interested should contact or call 410-887-2210. The program runs through Feb. 28. Supplies are limited, the department said. 

Kia is offering a similar steering wheel lock giveaway for affected owners on its website. (

Last week, Hyundai announced a software upgrades to address the problems. Owners can make the upgrade at a Hyundai dealer. It takes about an hour. 

Kia said it would offer the upgrade to some owners and expand the program in the coming months. 

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Tim Swift

Tim Swift is a local freelance writer and the former features editor for the Baltimore Sun.

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