Car Most (and Least Likely) to Have Catalytic Converter Stolen
Michael Collado is a car buying expert and has been a professional automotive writer since 2009. He’s written about dealership sales, vehicle reviews and comparisons, and service and maintenance for over 100 national automotive dealerships. Previously, Collado was a copywriter at the ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day where he worked on brand campaigns for Nissan, ABC Television, Sony PlayStation, and Energizer. His recognition in the ad industry includes awards from Communication Arts and The Clios.
Collado has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Marketing.
Hot Targets and Safe Rides: The Catalytic Converter Theft Dilemma"
Catalytic converter theft is one of the most common issues people face when it comes to vehicle security. In fact, theft of catalytic converters has been on the rise in recent years, leaving car owners concerned about the safety of their vehicles, ie whether or not they can drive without a catalytic converter. A missing catalytic converter can also be mistaken for an engine misfire, making it a confusing issue to deal with.
These devices, designed to reduce harmful emissions, contain valuable metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, making them attractive targets for thieves looking to make a quick profit.
Today, we will take a look at why steal catalytic converters, identify the cars most likely to be targeted, explore the least likely ones, and provide essential tips on how to prevent such theft.
Additionally, we will address common questions related to catalytic converter theft and what to do if your converter is stolen.
Table of Contents
- Why Do People Steal Catalytic Converters?
- Which Car Models Are Most Likely To Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen
- Which Car Models Are Least Likely To Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen
- How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft
- Preventing Catalytic Converter Theft
- Best Car Deals by Category
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do People Steal Catalytic Converters?
Catalytic converters contain a number of precious metals, which makes them valuable on the black market. Recycling centers and shady buyers are known to purchase stolen converters without asking questions, making it easy for thieves to dispose of their loot.
Additionally, catalytic converters are relatively easy to access, as they are located underneath vehicles and can be removed swiftly with simple tools.
Which Car Models Are Most Likely To Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen
1. Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius has gained notoriety as one of the most targeted car models for catalytic converter theft. This hybrid vehicle's catalytic converter contains a higher concentration of valuable metals, and its popularity makes it a common sight on the roads, making it an attractive target for thieves.
2. Honda Accord
The Honda Accord, known for its reliability and fuel efficiency, is also highly susceptible to catalytic converter theft. Its catalytic converter contains valuable metals and is relatively accessible, making it a prime target for criminals seeking to cash in on their illicit activities.
3. Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty
Pickup trucks, especially larger models like the Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty, are popular targets for catalytic converter theft. These trucks offer more ground clearance, making it easier for thieves to access and remove the converters swiftly.
4. Toyota Tundra
The Toyota Tundra, another robust pickup truck, ranks among the vehicles most likely to have their catalytic converters stolen. Thieves find these trucks attractive due to the precious metals in their converters and their elevated height, which allows easy access to the target.
5. Chevrolet Silverado and Suburban
Chevrolet's Silverado pickup trucks and Suburban SUVs are also frequently targeted by catalytic converter thieves. The high demand for the precious metals found in their converters and their common presence on the roads contribute to their vulnerability.
Which Car Models Are Least Likely To Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen
1. Tesla Model S
Electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S are immune to catalytic converter theft as they do not have internal combustion engines or catalytic converters. Their rise in popularity may be contributing to a decline in converter theft rates.
2. Subaru Outback
The Subaru Outback, known for its off-road capabilities and reliable performance, is among the car models less likely to be targeted for catalytic converter theft. Its lower ground clearance and fewer instances of converter theft make it a safer option.
3. BMW 5 Series
Luxury sedans like the BMW 5 Series are less prone to catalytic converter theft, thanks to their advanced security features and construction. Thieves are deterred by the complexity of accessing and removing the converter from these vehicles.
4. Volvo XC90
The Volvo XC90, a popular luxury SUV, is also relatively safe from catalytic converter theft. Its reputation for safety extends to its construction, making it less attractive to thieves who seek quick and easy targets.
5. Honda Civic
While certain Honda models like the Accord are prone to catalytic converter theft, the Honda Civic experiences fewer instances of this crime. Its lower profile and decreased value of metals in the converter may play a role in this lower likelihood of theft.
How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft
- Install a Catalytic Converter Lock: Specialized catalytic converter locks can be installed to make it challenging for thieves to remove the converter quickly.
- Park in Secure Areas: Whenever possible, park your vehicle in well-lit, populated areas or secure garages.
- Engrave Your VIN: Engrave your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the catalytic converter, making it traceable and less attractive to buyers of stolen goods.
- Install Security Cameras: Install surveillance cameras around your parking space to deter potential thieves and help identify them if theft occurs.
- Use Security System Stickers: Place security system stickers on your vehicle, even if you don't have an actual system installed. The appearance of security measures can discourage criminals.
Preventing Catalytic Converter Theft
Catalytic converter theft continues to pose a significant challenge for car owners, with certain car models being particularly susceptible to this crime.
Hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius and popular pickup trucks such as the Ford F-250 and Chevrolet Silverado are among the most targeted models due to their valuable converters and accessibility.
On the other hand, electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S and cars with advanced security features like the BMW 5 Series and Volvo XC90 are less likely to be victims of catalytic converter theft.
Taking preventive measures and parking in secure areas can help protect any vehicle from falling prey to this pervasive crime.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are catalytic converter thefts the worst?
Catalytic converter thefts are more prevalent in urban areas with higher crime rates and regions with limited police presence.
Who buys stolen catalytic converters?
Stolen catalytic converters are often sold to unscrupulous scrap metal dealers or recycling centers.
What to do if your catalytic converter is stolen?
If your catalytic converter is stolen, report the theft to the police immediately, contact your insurance provider to file a claim if applicable, and replace the stolen converter at a trusted mechanic or an authorized dealership.