More than 150,000 cats may have been stolen last year
New data includes converters not claimed under insurance
Catalytic converter theft is a big problem, but it might be bigger than we thought. That’s according to data from Carfax, after looking through their records and finding the real figure could be three times what was previously thought. That and they’ve listed the vehicles most likely to have their cats converted (into a few bucks at the scrapyard).
Media reports in the past have used data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. That group released data showing somewhere in the area of 50,000 catalytic converters had been stolen in the U.S. last year.
NICB data, though, is based solely on insurance claims. Not all drivers file claims for a number of reasons, opting to replace themselves. Carfax looked at its vehicle history data to find all catalytic converter replacements, then removed replacements for recalls, old parts, and took into account cats stolen from vehicles on dealer lots.
Carfax says based on that data that as many as 153,000 catalytic converters were stolen from vehicles in the U.S. in 2022. The emissions controls devices are worth between $50 and $400 as scrap thanks to the rare materials inside.
Topping the list of targeted vehicles was the Ford F-Series, Carfax said. The Honda Accord was next, followed by the Toyota Prius, Honda CR-V, and Ford Explorer.
As far as protecting your cat, there’s not really much you can do. Parking in a locked garage can help, and there are an increasing number of devices designed to help slow down crooks. But a recip saw or a grinder and a few moments are all that are needed to snag that cat.