'Public nuisance': New York sues Hyundai and Kia, alleging their cars are easy to steal
- A viral TikTok challenge started in 2021 and spurred a rise in thefts of Hyundai and Kia cars.
- New York accused the two companies of enabling "this spiraling epidemic" of car thefts.
- Shares of South Korea's largest automakers fell on Wednesday.
- Hyundai Motors slid by more than 2% while Kia Corp dropped by more than 5%.
Hyundai Motor Co. vehicles are displayed at the company's Motorstudio showroom in Goyang, South Korea, on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.
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South Korean automakers HyundaiandKiaare being sued for causing a "public nuisance," according to a complaintfiledin Manhattan federal court.
New York City is accusing the two firms of failing to install devices that prevent cars from being stolen, after a social media challenge prompted young teens to steal vehicles off the street by hot wiring them using a USB cable.
A viral TikTok challenge started in 2021 and spurred a rise in thefts of Hyundai and Kia cars. Chicago saw a jump of 800% year-on-year in the theft of these cars for the month of August 2022, officials told CNBC at the time. Los Angeles officials also saw an 85% jump compared with the year before.