On Saturday, February 13, 2021, we first began hearing reports that Kia owners were not able to log in to UVO or pay their car payments on the Kia Motor Finance website, car sales at Kia dealerships were stalled due to inventory management system outages, and Kia service departments were unable to order parts.
While the focus of media attention has been on Kia, we also heard similar complaints from Hyundai and Genesis owners who were unable to use their respective Blue Link and Genesis Assistant apps.
While some reports have claimed a ransomware attack was to blame for the outages, Kia said in a press statement posted by Motor1 on February 18 that “we can confirm that we have no evidence that Kia or any Kia data is subject to a ransomware attack.” In the same statement, Kia also claimed that “the UVO app and owner’s portal are now operational,” signaling that they are finally getting a handle on the IT issues.
Those hit hardest by the outage may be residents of the southern United States, including Texas, who have seen record-breaking low temperatures that have taken power and water grids offline.
Drivers who had hoped to remote start their car and preheat it to try and get some relief from the inclement weather found their mobile app unresponsive. Many drivers have shared in social media groups that they will either be cancelling their UVO subscriptions or requesting refunds or credits to their accounts due to the outage.
As systems come back online, Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis will no doubt begin to determine the full impact of this week’s IT outage, and ensure that such an outage does not happen again.