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Gen-Z'ers Pull Off Epic "How To Hotwire" TikTok Trend (AKA "Stealing Cars"), Smash Kia Directly Into Highway Median

DAILY MAILMoment group of teens crash a stolen car and run off Minnesota highway after 'How to Hotwire' TikTok trend showed users how to steal new Kia and Hyundai models with a single USB cable

  • In an incident in St. Paul this weekend, four teens were nearly killed when they slammed a stolen Kia against the median of a highway, police said
  • Video from the incident showed the four teens attempting an almost suicidal escape as they sprinted on foot across Interstate 35E in St. Paul
  • A dangerous new trend involving the theft of Hyundai and Kia cars has been causing concern nationwide since 2021 
  • Various videos have spread on TikTok showing users stealing Kia and Hyundai cars 
  • Some of the videos are instructional, showing people how to hotwire the vehicles using USB cables
  • In response to the spate of thefts, Kia is equipping all new cars sold in the US with engine immobilizers

The genius of Gen Z is how they've rebranded common crimes and felonies and wholly traumatic life experiences into catchy and fun "challenges." Remember the "48-Hours Missing Challenge" which was essentially "abduct yourself and make your family think you've been kidnapped and murdered"?  You "won" if your picture showed up on social media — ostensibly posted by hysterical parents imagining their child rotting in a shallow grave, or the police department in the process of diverting all available resources to finding them. That was hilarious fun.  In my opinion that's when viral comedy really took off; a lot of people will cite teens eating toxic laundry detergent pods, but to me it's not edgy enough to just destroy your own internal organs, you need to cause excruciating agony for others in your orbit for it to truly be legendary.  

Now here we are a few years later and, like all the best visionaries and innovators, Gen Z has adapted and advanced: no longer satisfied polluting their own bodies and devastating their own families emotionally, they have turned their attention outwards to focus on property theft and destruction (with a small but significant opportunity for vehicular homicide).  You and me, when we grew up, hot-wiring and stealing a car was described to us by the police who eventually caught us as "car theft."  But due to a 2022 rebrand, this is now the "How to Hotwire" challenge.  Below is an exhaustive explanation of how the trend works:

1. Use a USB cable to hotwire and steal a Kia or Hyundai.

2. N/A 

If you can get the steps down, you too could be a viral phenomenon.  And the good news is you probably won't even get in trouble; I think vehicle theft is one of those crimes we don't prosecute anymore until like the 48th strike.  Amazing. Rebranding crimes is the greatest PR feat since China convinced a billion Americans to willingly download a spyware app.