If you have a Kia vehicle, you might want to read this. There is a TikTok challenge trending at the moment where people are posting videos of themselves hot-wiring either Kias or Hyundais. It has been dubbed the ‘Kia Challenge.’ Tragically, on the 24th of October, four teens were killed while allegedly taking part in the same challenge in Buffalo, NY.
Four teens killed
On Monday, October 24th, a tragic car crash resulted in the death of four teenagers. There were six people in the car, which had been reported stolen on the Sunday. Five passengers and the driver were thrown out of the vehicle.
Four of them died, but the fifth, a 14-year-old girl, reportedly survived. Among the dead were Marcus Webster, 19, Swazine Swindle, 17, Kevin Payne, 16, and Ahjanae Harper, 14. Harper, though a mere 14 years old, had given birth to a baby girl not long before the accident. Her family has started a GoFundMe page for the late young mother.
According to the reports, the driver of the vehicle survived the crash. However, he is expected in court in November as he is being charged with criminal possession of stolen property and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Needless to say, a crime was committed, even if it was a TikTok challenge.
“It’s a horrific morning for the families, their friends, our police officers and our investigators and fire department that were there investigating this,” said commissioner Gramaglia. “This is a terrible, terrible outcome for such young kids that had their entire lives in front of them.”
Read: Mothers Throw Water Over Babies In TikTok Challenge
The Kia TikTok challenge
As trends go, they may take a while to lift off but, since 2021, the Kia TikTok challenge has become increasingly popular. Creators post videos where they are showing their viewers how to hot wire a Kia car using a smartphone charging cable and a screwdriver. They use the hashtag, KiaBoyz. Other videos show people complaining how their car has fallen victim to the trend. According to Michael Moore, the chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, car thefts involving Kia cars has risen 85% since 2021. They blame this on the Tiktok challenge.
Commissioner Gramaglia said in an interview with local NBC affiliate WGRZ, “They’re very easy, unfortunately, to steal. You can look up the information that’s been put out there. There are numerous cities across the country that are looking at looking into or have filed lawsuits against Kia. Because of the ease (in stealing) these cars.”
The assistant professor in the University at Buffalo communication department, Yotam Ophir, said to WIBV, “Isolating a specific video that seems detrimental, and assuming that it has a huge impact over people’s behavior, is just unreasonable from an empirical point of view. That’s not how media effects work.”
Another fatal TikTok challenge
As if stealing cars just to get some view on TikTok was bad enough, there are many more TikTok challenges that are definitely questionable. Another trending challenge has kids holding their breath to see how long it will take before they pass out. In other words, the blackout challenge.
12-year-old Archie September, from the United Kingdom, died in September. Reportedly, he was trying to take part in the blackout TikTok challenge. But, it did not go so well for him. He was among many similar deaths in the UK, as well as Italy, and across the US.
Keep Reading: Parents sue TikTok after daughter dies from social media ‘blackout’ challenge