Catalytic Converter Theft: Which Cars Are Not Big Targets for This Crime?
Crime happens everywhere and to everyone, and one of the most common crimes is car crime, as there are simply many cars in America. While there are many types of automotive crimes, one of the most annoying and common acts that have been on the rise lately is catalytic converter theft. Here’s a look at the recent spike in catalytic converter thefts and which cars are least likely to have their catalytic converter stolen.
The recent problem with catalytic converter thefts
Catalytic converters are a part of the car’s emissions system. The part’s primary purpose is to reduce the number of pollutants emitted from the vehicle. It does this through some complex science, and that science is only possible because of the rare metals that are a part of the catalytic converter.
One such rare metal is Palladium. It can cost upwards of $2,500 an ounce. There are other rare and valuable metals in catalytic converters, such as Platinum, which are the primary reason thieves have been stealing them. Catalytic converters are on almost every single car, and they’re relatively easy to find and steal.
Once stolen, the catalytic converter is sold and scrapped for those rare metals. Like most thefts, it’s an easy crime that can provide a decent return to thieves. As such, thefts have skyrocketed in recent years. The numbers vary, but it’s estimated that, in Los Angeles County, catalytic converter thefts rose by over 400% in just a few years.
These cars are the least likely to have their catalytic converter stolen
Although most cars are at risk of having their catalytic converters stolen, there are many cars where that’s less likely to happen. Simply IOA wrote that two types of vehicles are impossible for thieves to steal a catalytic converter from, including some cars that simply don’t have one. Vehicles that were built before 1974 are one of those types, and that’s because catalytic converters were uncommon and rare back then.
EVs also don’t have a catalytic converter. That’s because electric cars don’t have tailpipe emissions that need to be cleaned up. Thieves are also less likely to steal from a non-hybrid vehicle made by American or Asian automakers, such as Ford, Chevy, Hyundai, and Subaru. This is because those automakers have reduced the number of rare metals in their catalytic converters, so thieves make less money if they steal them.
That won’t stop thieves from stealing a catalytic converter from those cars, but smart thieves avoid them and go for better targets. Furthermore, some vehicles are hard to steal from, and thieves avoid them as well. These cars include cars with low ground clearance, as it’s hard for thieves to get to the part. It also includes newer vehicles that have the catalytic converter in the engine. That makes it even harder for thieves to get to.
These cars are the most likely to have the auto part stolen
Currently, SUVs and pickup trucks dominate the list of vehicles most likely to have their catalytic converter stolen. The Ford F-Series is a common target, as well as the Chevy Silverado. While cars from Asian automakers tend to be at less risk of having their catalytic converter stolen, Honda and Toyota are often targets for those crimes.
This is especially true for hybrid cars in general, and it’s why the Toyota Prius is one of the most common victims of catalytic converter thefts. The catalytic converters in hybrid vehicles tend to have more rare metals, so thieves like to steal them for a higher payday.