Think whatever you want about the Toyota Prius, but it’s actually more valuable than you think. Sure, it might only be priced in the mid-$20,000 range and its interior is not exactly Lexus quality, however, it’s what is on the outside that counts, more specifically, underneath the car. And unfortunately for many Prius owners, catalytic converter theft has been on the rise and now they are taking a stand and want Toyota to do something about it.
What is a catalytic converter?
Ever since the Toyota Prius was introduced into the market, it has been heralded as one of the cleanest and most eco-friendly cars that you can buy. The reason for its eco-friendliness lies not only in its gas/electric powertrain but also in its intricate exhaust setup that uses a catalytic converter to clean up the exhaust gasses that the engine emits. The actual converter is made up of precious metals including rhodium, platinum, and palladium, which react when the toxins and particulates flow through it causing the resulting mixture to come out cleaner when exiting through the tailpipe.
As you can imagine, the reason that these parts are so popular and prone to theft is that they are very easy to resell for anywhere between $300 to $800 depending on their size. And luckily for the average low-life thief, the catalytic converter on the Toyota Prius is large and easy to access.
Why are Prius owners angry?
Since so many Toyota Prius owners have had their car’s catalytic converters stolen lately, it’s been a very expensive issue for them. One 2007 Prius owner said that she had her catalytic converter stolen twice in two months, which cost her around $5,000 in total just the car back on the road in a safe manner both times. It’s sad to think that thousands of your hard-earned dollars can be taken away in a matter of minutes by someone looking to make a quick buck, but now multiple Prius owners are fighting back to protect their cars. But they’re not only fighting the theft, they’re fighting Toyota.
What do they want Toyota to do?
There are currently metal plates on the market, called “Cat Security,” that bolt in to place over the Prius’ catalytic converter in order to keep it safe from theft. The current retail price for one of these plates is $389 plus tax, and while any Prius owner can pick one up for their own car, there any many Prius owners that want Toyota to pick up the bill for the added security. Fortunately, dealerships like San Francisco Toyota are currently offering Cat Security to its customers for greater peace of mind.
Should Toyota really pay up?
We think that it’s a fair price to pay for Toyota to pay the price and offer some type of security measure for Prius owners. While an entire recall might sound excessive, it makes sense as the automaker could recall any Prii that might be at risk and have the plate installed at any Toyota service center. But we can imagine that it would cost a lot and it would likely take a while before Toyota responds to any of the owners’ pleas, however, only time will tell.