HOUSTON — A Houston mother is at her wit's end after her car has been stolen four times.
Artimese Yarborough owns a 2013 Hyundai Sonata. It’s one of the vehicles at the center of a nationwide TikTok trend that teaches people how to steal certain older model Kia and Hyundai vehicles.
“Why my car? What’s so special about my car?” Yarborough asked herself before learning about the social media trend.
That trend has led to a spike in these types of auto thefts.
Yarborough has taken her car to the shop several times since it was stolen the first time in February and the most recent theft happened on Mother's Day. She said the thieves haven’t gotten far, so she has been able to find her car every time. However, it’s kept her from going to work.
“That's my only liability I have is my car and y'all steady taking it, but when they take it’s costing me money. If I don't go to work and make money, how am I gonna keep getting this car fixed,” Yarborough said.
The last time her car was stolen, Yarborough said the thieves damaged the steering column. She said she can’t get it fixed due to a part shortage.
KHOU 11 reached out to Hyundai and the company confirmed there is an increase in demand for certain parts. The company issued the following statement:
“There has been an increase in demand for certain parts. We have significantly increased our ordering above demand to drive a sufficient parts supply. Hyundai is also working directly with the impacted suppliers to facilitate the necessary flow of parts. Generally, the supply of spare parts is based on demand, supplier lead times, and planned reserve stock based on demand and supplier variability.”
Yarborough said in the meantime she has no means of transportation until the part comes in to get her car fixed.
HPD said Houston is no different than any other city dealing with this growing problem.
Kia and Hyundai now have recalls for anti-theft software updates on more than 8 million vehicles combined.
You can find out if your vehicle is eligible for an update by entering your VIN number in their websites: