ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Starting Friday and going into the weekend, Kia America will be working with local law enforcement to host an anti-theft upgrade service center at MCC’s downtown campus.
Located in Lot CC, across from Innovative Field, this mobile center will help install more of the anti-theft software upgrades in Kia vehicles to prevent further car thefts. According to Kia, these upgrades have been installed in over 800,000 of their vehicles across the United States.
Kia notes the following models will be eligible for these software upgrades:
- Forte 2014-2021
- K5 2021-2022
- Rio 2012-2021
- Sedona 2011-2021
- Soul 2020-2022
- Sportage 2011-2022
- Optima 2011-2020
- Seltos 2021-2022
Officials with Kia America say Rochester was among the first cities to be considered for the mobile clinics. The automaker has been providing the software upgrades at dealerships nationwide since February.
“When we had the list of cities we were going to do as part of this rollout, I moved Rochester right near the top. The software upgrade basically mimics the activity of an immobilizer in the vehicle. It runs the alarm for an extended period of time, and actually cancels the ignition system to keep the car safe,” said James Bell, head of corporate communications for Kia America.
In addition, Kia said that it will be providing its customers who were impacted by recent thefts with additional benefits. Customers will also be informed by the company when their vehicle is eligible for an upgrade.
These upgrades are happening after a recent social media trend exposed an exploit in certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles that can allow anyone to steal them. According to local leaders, Monroe County, as well as Erie County, account for two-thirds of car break-ins in the state.
In its own response to these car thefts, Hyundai is also setting up centers — or “mobile clinics” — to install anti-theft software in its vehicles. One of these clinics will be open in Rochester. These will last until November 18.
Kia’s mobile center at MCC will be held from November 3 through November 5 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.