Knox County Sheriff Says Viral TikTok Challenge Lead to Officer-Involved Shooting

Knox County’s Sheriff said in a Tuesday press conference that a shootout between two teens and his deputies, the result of a car theft, stemmed from a TikTok challenge. 

“This case involved a TikTok challenge where you steal a vehicle, drive it for a day or two and then ditch it,” Sheriff Tom Spangler said in the press conference. “Some of the TikTok challenges that are out there are pretty disturbing. I’m sure that if some of our parents were aware of some of the things that are going on, I hope it would be safe to say they wouldn’t be real happy about that.”

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Crime-Ridden Liberal Cities Have a New Favorite Scapegoat: Automakers

Chicago is the latest major city to sue Hyundai and Kia for failing to equip their U.S. cars for more than a decade with anti-theft technology, which was exposed on social media last year and made the vehicles a target for criminals.

“Unlike the movies, hot-wiring vehicles is far harder than it appears—unless that vehicle was manufactured by Hyundai or Kia,” the lawsuit filed Thursday by the city of Chicago states.

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Phoenix Crime Down in 2023, but Car Thefts, Rapes, and Officer Involved Shootings Rise

The City of Phoenix and Phoenix Police Department released crime statistics for the first six months of 2023, revealing that overall crime is down 2 percent, even as auto thefts, rape, and police shootings rise in the city.

Numbers released by the city show violent crime is down 2 percent in Arizona’s capital, and property crimes are down 19 percent, when the first six months of 2023 are compared with the same period in 2022. Still, the city reported an increase in rapes, increase in auto thefts, and officer-involved shootings.

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Kia Announces Upgrade, Jobs at Georgia Plant

Kia plans to spend more than $200 million to accommodate the assembly of its new electric SUV at its west Georgia facility.

State officials said the project will create roughly 200 new jobs at Kia’s West Point plant, Kia Corporation’s first manufacturing site in North America. When assembly of the EV9 starts in the second quarter of 2024, it will be the fifth model to be assembled at Kia Georgia.

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Connecticut Attorney General Probes Theft-Prone Vehicles

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has launched a consumer protection investigation into automakers Hyundai and Kia after hundreds of the vehicles have been stolen across the country.

As part of the investigation, announced on Wednesday, Tong seeks records and information on certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles sold in Connecticut, including complaints, internal reports on the company’s decision-making, and anti-theft software and internal communications.

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Youngkin Nixes Ford Battery Plant Over Partnership with Chinese Company

Governor Glenn Youngkin blocked Virginia from consideration for a battery plant to supply Ford Motor Company amid concerns about the technology supplied by a Chinese company, he told reporters on Wednesday.

In a press gaggle, Youngkin criticized a clean energy push that relied on technology “owned and dominated by the Chinese.”

“Well, we in fact felt that the recent efforts to put forward a Ford plant that would house Chinese technology to build the batteries was in fact representative of that. And that we felt the right thing to do was to not recruit Ford as a front for China to America. Let’s develop our own technology,” Youngkin said after his State of the Commonwealth speech.

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Minneapolis Police Ask Kia, Hyundai Owners to Take Precautions amid 900 Percent Increase in Thefts

Minneapolis police are urging the owners of Kias and Hyundais to protect their vehicles after reporting a nearly 900% spike in thefts of those makes from last year.

In a Monday press release, the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) reported that 2,166 thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles have taken place in 2022, up from 218 at this time last year.

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Federal Court Orders Parts Manufacturer for Two Car Companies to End ‘Oppressive’ Child Labor Practices

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) obtained a federal court order to restrict an Alabama-based automotive parts manufacturer for Kia and Hyundai from employing children, many as young as 13, according to a recent DOL press release.

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama ruled in a September consent judgment that the company, SL Alabama LLC, a subsidiary of South Korean SL Corporation, violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and engaged in “oppressive” labor practices, the release stated. The ruling follows an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division, and will effectively block SL Alabama LLC from shipping any products within 30 days of violations.

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Commentary: The Bullish Meaning of Hyundai and Kia Cars Everywhere You Look

The next time you’re in traffic, stop and look at the cars surrounding you. If on a city street, also look at the cars passing you as they go in the opposite direction. In a sense it’s fascinating.

Doing this the other day on the Key Bridge (it connects Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA), the variety of cars was really something. Mostly foreign cars. Lots of Mercedes and BMWs, numerous Toyota, Honda and Nissan vehicles, and somewhat surprisingly, countless Kia and Hyundai models. About the surprise expressed, it’s remarkable how quickly the twin Korean brands have built enormous market share in the world’s greatest car market.

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