Why Is the Toyota Tundra So Popular With Catalytic Converter Thieves?

Catalytic Converter theft is out of control. Yesterday we reported on the nearly $12-million haul of stolen converters discovered by Texas authorities. In this new landscape of brutal car part theft, What can we do to keep our cars safe? Well, we can start by knowing what the thieves are most interested in. It seems catalytic converter thieves prefer to work with this popular full-size pickup truck more than any other vehicle. Heads up, Toyota Tundra owners. 

A Red 2022 Toyota Tundra driving down a dirt road with a field behind it
2022 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

The Toyota Tundra has a target on its back

According to the Anti-Theft Guys, Toyota Tundras have their catalytic converters (CC) stolen at the highest rates of any cars in America. Considering that catalytic converters are getting swiped at historic rates across the board, Tundra owners might want to take note. 

One of the main reasons the Toyota Tundra is such a target for CC theft is that most of them have four Cats to swipe. But more than the amount of loot is the fact that the Cats are so easily accessible. The factory suspension height is such that thieves can quickly slide under with a saw and take what they please. 

But more than anything else, Toyota is known for using more precious metals in their catalytic converters than other OEMs. Platinum, Rhodium, and Palladium act as catalysts to convert harmful gases such as carbon monoxide into less harmful gases like carbon dioxide as well as water. The more materials OEMs use, the higher quality of the part. 

How much does it cost to replace a Toyota Tundra’s catalytic converters? 

For the same reason why thieves want to steal Toyota parts is the same reason why replacing them is so expensive. According to the Anti Theft Guys, replacing four Cats for a Tundra could cost as much as $6,000-$7,000. Even worse than the money, due to the supply shortages, it is not uncommon for Toyota owners to wait anywhere from 1-4 months for the parts to be available. 

How to stop someone from stealing your catalytic converter 

Massive pile of stolen catalytic Converters
A Massive pile of stolen catalytic Converters | KHOU 11

RELATED: Can You Stop Someone From Stealing Your Catalytic Converter?

So common advice for any car theft prevention is to park your car in a safe, well-lit location. Obviously, parking in a garage is your best bet, but that isn’t always an option. 

Catalytic converter theft is tricky to stop because it can happen in a matter of minutes or even less. One of the most effective ways to combat theft is to install catalytic converter shields. These are akin to locks; they won’t stop a thief who wants them bad enough, but it will slow them down. And most thieves will likely move on if the job isn’t quick and easy. 

While it sucks to have such a popular pickup truck be the target of such thievery, the good news is the market has plenty of CC covers and locks for the Tundra, like MillerCAT, for example. . Many cars and trucks don’t have any covers available. 

Lastly, the lowest cost option is to mark your catalytic converter with paint or etch your VIN into it. This will make your Cat traceable and thereby making selling it harder. 

Stay frosty, Toyota Tundra owners

This is one of the more frustrating crimes we face today. There is so little we can do to stop it altogether, but every time someone stealing or selling these parts is caught, we get a little closer. 

In the meantime, use your head and protect your Tundra’s most vulnerable bits. 

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