A fatal car crash that killed four teenagers has been linked to the popular Kia Challenge on TikTok.

Buffalo police say that six people were in a stolen Kia Sportage vehicle that crashed just before 7am on Monday in the upstate New York city.

Three of the victims died at the scene and a fourth died later at a hospital. Investigators say that the dead were all aged between 14 and 19.

A 14-year-old girl was hospitalised but has now been taken out of intensive care.

The victims have been named as Marcus Webster, 19; Swazine Swindle, 17; Kevin Payne, 16; and Ahjanae Harper, 14, reports WHAM.

“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 Buffalo Police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.

“This is a terrible, terrible outcome for such young kids that had their entire lives in front of them.”

The driver of the Kia, a 16-year-old male who has not been identified, was treated at hospital and released into the custody of Buffalo Police.

He was charged with third-degree unauthorised use of a vehicle and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He is due back in court on 15 November.

The police chief says that investigators believe that the Kia was stolen on Sunday night and have linked the theft to the TikTok craze.

The trend on the social media platform shows people how to hotwire and steal Kia models built in the last decade without a key using just a USB cable.

“They’re very easy unfortunately to steal,” Commissioner Gramaglia said.

“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 that they are able to steal these cars.”

The trend became popular under the hashtag #KiaBoyz and has seen a huge spike in the thefts of Kia as well as Hyundai vehicles.

In Portland, Oregon, thefts of Hyundais are up 153 per cent while Kias are up 269 per cent, say police.

In Columbus, Ohio, the two brands have made up 38 per cent of all cars stolen in 2022, according to The New York Post.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore said that car thefts in the city had increased 85 per cent, and blamed TikTok for the jump.

Chief Moore said that more than 1,600 Kia and Hyundai vehicles had been stolen on the back of the challenge.