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Hyundai plans US-wide software clinics

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Hyundai said Wednesday that it will set up “mobile clinics” at five US locations to provide anti-theft software upgrades for vehicles now regularly targeted by thieves using a technique popularised on TikTok and other social media platforms.

The South Korean automaker will hold the clinics, which will run for two to three days on or adjacent to weekends, in New York City; Chicago; Minneapolis; St Paul, Minnesota; and Rochester, New York. The clinics will take place between October 28 and November 18.

Hyundai said it will also support single-day regional clinics run by dealerships before the end of 2023, although it didn’t name locations or dates.

A recovered 2012 Hyundai Elantra is seen in Berkeley, Calif., after being stolen in early October 2023. PHOTO: AP

The automaker listed the affected vehicles as the 2018-2022 Accent, the 2011-2022 Elantra, the 2013-2020 Elantra GT, the 2013-2014 Genesis Coupe, the 2018-2022 Kona, the 2020-2021 Palisade, the 2013-2022 Santa Fe, the 2013-2018 Santa Fe Sport, the 2019 Santa Fe XL, the 2011-2019 Sonata, the 2011-2022 Tucson, the 2012-2017 and 2019-2021 Veloster, and the 2020-2021 Venue.

Theft rates of the affected automobiles soared after thieves discovered these models lack engine immobilisers, an anti-theft technology that has long been standard in other vehicles.