Hyundai drivers in St. Paul can upgrade their vehicles' security for free next week.

Technicians will offer the upgrades on Nov. 12-13 for certain Hyundai vehicles without push-button ignitions and immobilizing anti-theft devices. Vehicles that do not qualify can still get a free steering wheel lock.

The event will take place at 400 Snelling Av. in a parking lot near Allianz Field from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. No registration is required, and the process should take a half-hour. St. Paul Police Sgt. Mike Ernster said the event is a good opportunity to prevent auto theft in the city.

"We want our community to have the ability to upgrade their vehicles if possible to safeguard them from any possible theft in the future," Ernster said. "We welcome any opportunity for our residents to be able to safeguard their property."

Such upgrades will come days after a similar event in Minneapolis, and years after a surge in Hyundai and Kia thefts began sweeping the nation. Law enforcement and Hyundai officials said the social media "Kia Challenge" is to blame. The challenge encourages young people to expose a security flaw in certain Kia and Hyundai vehicles before stealing them, often leading to dangerous police chases and fatal crashes.

Around 4 million Hyundai vehicles are vulnerable to that security flaw. Company officials collaborated with TikTok and others to remove the videos, but thieves respond by posting new videos online. Both Hyundai and Kia are now embroiled in dozens of class-action lawsuits across the nation about the issue.

The Twin Cities reported an 836% surge in the theft of such vehicles last year, prompting Attorney General Keith Ellison to launch an investigation into the car companies to determine if they violated Minnesota's consumer protection and public nuisance laws.

The Hyundai vehicles eligible for an upgrade in St. Paul next week are: 2018-22 Accent; 2011-22 Elantra; 2013-20 Elantra GT; 2013-14 Genesis Coupe; 2018-22 Kona; 2020-21 Palisade; 2013-22 Santa Fe; 2013-18 Santa Fe Sport; 2019 Santa Fe XL; 2011-19 Sonata; 2011-22 Tucson; 2012-17, 2019-21 Veloster; 2020-21 Venue.