Kia plans to offer a new "theft deterrent device" to owners to help guard against their cars being stolen. The device is a metal casing that mounts to the car's ignition cylinder and is already available for installation free of charge.

The new ignition cylinder protector, shown above, is designed to prevent would-be thieves from removing the cylinder body from the car's steering column, a theft method popularized by social media outlets like TikTok. It's meant to fit into Kias that are not eligible for the security-minded software upgrade the company sent out back in February 2023, such as the 2011-2021 Rio, the 2011-2016 Forte, and the 2011-2016 Sportage (a full list of the cars eligible for the device can be seen below). 

“Vehicle security is a top priority for Kia and we continue to take action to support our customers by helping to protect their vehicles from thefts, which have been encouraged by content spread across social media,” Kia America service operations VP Greg Silvestri said in a statement. “Reinforcing the ignition cylinder body is the latest step to help guard against these methods of theft and we strongly encourage owners of vehicles that don’t have engine immobilizers and are not able to receive our security software upgrade to have this free security measure installed.”

In the 11 months since the security update was released, Kia says it's installed the change on nearly 960,000 vehicles. It's also given out over 330,000 free steering wheel locks to further deter thefts, a rudimentary solution the company implemented in July 2023. This ignition cylinder guard is yet another improvement Kia hopes owners will take advantage of.

Kia says it's already begun notifying eligible owners about the new device with instructions to bring their vehicle to the nearest dealership to have it installed free of charge. If you think your car may be eligible, head on over to Kia's website and punch in your VIN.

Eligible Cars Model Year
Kia Sportage 2011-2016
Kia Forte 2011-2016
Kia Soul 2010-2022
Kia Rio 2011-2021
Kia Sedona 2014
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