Hybrids & Electrics

Toyota Prius Owners are Asking for a Recall Over a Popular Theft Item

You might think of the Toyota Prius as an “affordable hybrid,” 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. Unfortunately for many Prius owners, catalytic converter theft has been on the rise. Now they are taking a stand and want Toyota to do something about it.

A catalytic converter is filled with precious metals

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. According to Car Throttle, the actual converter is made up of precious metals including platinum and palladium, which react when the toxins and particulates flow through them 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.

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A set of catalytic converters
A set of catalytic converters. | (Photo by Reuter Raymond/Sygma via Getty Images)

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. Considering that replacing a catalytic converter can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000, 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. However, 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 Cap City Muffler’s Cat Security Plate, 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. According to Torque News, dealerships like San Francisco Toyota are currently offering Cat Security to their customers for greater peace of mind.

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a rear shot of a 2020 Toyota Prius Prime shown in red
2020 Toyota Prius Prime shown in red | Photo: Toyota

Should Toyota really pay up?

We think that it’s fair 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. 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.