Certain cars are stolen more than others based on data collected by various companies. For whole-vehicle theft, the Dodge brand topped the list. While the Cadillac Escalade used to stay on the most-stolen lists, Cadillac responded with more anti-theft features. What other brands are frequently the subject of vehicle theft?
Why are Dodge Chargers and Challengers stolen so much?
There are a few reasons Dodge Chargers and Challengers are the subjects of theft. According to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), both of these cars are fun to drive, and you don’t even need the keys to steal the automobiles.
The Charger and Challenger have whole-vehicle theft rates that have more than five times the national average from 2016-2018. The HEMI and Hellcat engines make for a fun car to steal, apparently. “The models most likely to be stolen tend to be powerful, pricey, or pickups, but vehicle theft is also a crime of opportunity,” says HLDI Senior Vice President Matt Moore. Moore notes that better security across the board would likely deter thieves.
IIHS and HLDI looked at insurance claims for each year to see which cars topped the list. A whole-vehicle theft is just how it sounds: when the entire vehicle is stolen. This is different than parts being stolen off a vehicle or items being stolen from inside a vehicle.
Which other brands are frequently stolen?
The Dodge Charger HEMI and Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat topped the list. The Charger came in at 544 for the relative claim frequency, while the Challenger was at 529. The average is 100. The Dodge Challenger came in at 358, Dodge Charger 4WD was 274, and the Dodge Charger at 266. The Durango 4WD was also at 271. Six out of 20 cars on the list belonged to Dodge, more than any other brand.
According to the same list by IIHS, another brand that is frequently targeted by theft is Infiniti. For a more luxurious car, this is a surprising statistic. The Infiniti Q50 4-door came in at 525 stolen cars, with 100 cars being the average frequency.
The Infiniti QX80 had 422 cars, and the Infiniti QX80 4WD had 236 cars. For this instance, these are the 2016-2018 model years. The GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab and Nissan Maxima also made the list, with 393 cars and 351 cars for the claim frequency.
How do brands like Dodge and Cadillac adjust?
The Cadillac Escalade used to be one of the most stolen cars on the road. HLDI noted the Escalade used to dominate the list of most stolen SUVs, but Cadillac reacted with enhanced safety features to keep cars in the owner’s hands.
In 2015, Cadillac decided that ignition immobilizers were insufficient to prevent theft. The brand added more anti-theft features like glass breakage sensors, motion detectors, and a sensor to detect if the SUV changes incline. This will go off if it detects that the Escalade is being lifted to be placed on a tow truck or if someone tries to remove the wheels.
MotorTrend notes that Dodge added the new Security Mode feature limiting the car’s speed to three miles per hour if it is stolen. To disable the mode, you need to enter a four-digit code. Of course, you must know the car was stolen to activate the mode.
Security Mode’s point is to keep vehicles from getting caught up in high-speed chases and causing accidents. Since this is just being implemented now, it will likely take a bit for the feature to catch on. Hopefully, the number for stolen Dodge cars and trucks will decrease in the next year.
This article was updated on 8/24/2022.