Which Cars Are Most Likely to Have Their Catalytic Converter Stolen?

National & Regional Data From 2022

Catalytic Converter Theft Is Skyrocketing:

Here Is A Detailed Breakdown Of The Biggest Targets Nationally & By Region In The US

It's no secret that catalytic converter theft is exploding across the country at an alarming rate and has been for a few years now. So much so that some consumers are now factoring how likely it is that their next vehicle may be targeted by thieves before making a vehicle purchase.  

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With catalytic converter theft sweeping across the headlines around the nation on a regular basis and, considering how expensive it can be to replace when one is stolen, it's no wonder why this massive problem is impacting buying decisions.

We recently reported the stunning new data from Carfax that unveiled the stark reality that the total number of catalytic converter thefts in the US in 2022 could be as high as 153,000. Compare that to 1,298 claims made just a few years ago in 2018 and one quickly gets a clear scope of just how serious this problem really is.

If you're in the market for a new or used vehicle, factoring which cars are most likely to be targeted by would-be-thieves is not a bad idea. Below is a breakdown of which cars were most targeted in 2022 nationally as well as by each region in the United States.

EXPLOSIVE INCREASE

Catalytic Converter Theft Claims: 2018 - 2021

2018
0
2019
0
2020
0
2021
0

Here's The National & Regional Data For 2022...

Top Vehicles Targeted Nationwide

There is a vast array of vehicles involved, and it comes as no surprise that some of the most sought-after nameplates in the past two decades remain top targets. However, what is unexpected is that the targeted vehicles are not limited to a particular type of car. They range from family sedans like the Honda Accord, to SUVs like the Chevrolet Equinox, and even full-size pickup trucks from Ford and GM. The list of the most-targeted vehicles has remained mostly unchanged between 2021 and 2022, except for the Toyota Tacoma, a popular midsize pickup truck, and the Ford Explorer SUV, both of which experienced a substantial rise in thefts last year.

RANK MAKE MODEL RANK CHANGE FROM 2021
1 FORD F SERIES TRUCK -
2 HONDA ACCORD -
3 TOYOTA PRIUS +4
4 HONDA CR-V +2
5 FORD EXPLORER +9
6 FORD ECONOLINE -2
7 CHEVROLET EQUINOX +1
8 CHEVROLET SILVERADO -3
9 TOYOTA TACOMA +15
10 CHEVROLET CRUZE +5

Top Vehicles Targeted in the Western US

Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, & Washington

The significance of location cannot be overstated! Although the West shares several of the top targets on the national list, the Ford F-Series pickup is not the most targeted vehicle in this region. Instead, the Prius takes the crown, owing to its immense popularity in areas such as California with high gas prices and strict emissions laws. Additionally, Subaru models are a hit in the mountainous regions of the West, where drivers prefer the standard all-wheel drive (AWD). This list exclusively encompasses cars located in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

RANK MAKE MODEL RANK CHANGE FROM 2021
1 TOYOTA PRIUS -
2 HONDA ACCORD -
3 HONDA CR-V -
4 TOYOTA TACOMA +1
5 FORD F SERIES TRUCK -1
6 SUBARU FORESTER -
7 TOYOTA CAMRY +1
8 FORD ECONOLINE -1
9 FORD EXPLORER +1
10 NISSAN NV +12

Top Vehicles Targeted in the Southwestern US

Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah

The abundance of trucks and SUVs in the Southwest comes as no surprise. In comparison to the previous year, the Tacoma and Ford Expedition SUV were targeted more frequently in 2022 in this region. The area in question comprises Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah.

RANK MAKE MODEL RANK CHANGE FROM 2021
1 FORD F SERIES TRUCK -
2 TOYOTA TUNDRA +5
3 TOYOTA TACOMA +11
4 CHEVROLET SILVERADO -2
5 TOYOTA PRIUS -2
6 HONDA ACCORD -
7 FORD EXPEDITION +14
8 HONDA CR-V +5
9 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER +6
10 FORD EXPLORER +2

Top Vehicles Targeted in the US Plains

Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota & Wyoming

The list of most targeted vehicles in the Plains states is dominated by pickup trucks, but the Kia Soul compact SUV saw the largest increase in thefts. This list encompasses cars in Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

RANK MAKE MODEL RANK CHANGE FROM 2021
1 FORD F SERIES TRUCK -
2 CHEVROLET SILVERADO +1
3 CHEVROLET EQUINOX -1
4 FORD ECONOLINE -
5 HONDA CR-V +1
6 FORD EXPLORER +9
7 HONDA ACCORD +4
8 CHEVROLET CRUZE -
9 KIA SOUL +21
10 JEEP PATRIOT -

Top Vehicles Targeted in the Midwest US States

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio & Wisconsin

The Ford Explorer SUV saw a significant increase in thefts in the Midwest compared to 2021. This list encompasses cars in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

RANK MAKE MODEL RANK CHANGE FROM 2021
1 FORD F SERIES TRUCK +1
2 CHEVROLET EQUINOX -1
3 HONDA CR-V -
4 TOYOTA PRIUS +1
5 FORD ECONOLINE -1
6 FORD EXPLORER +8
7 BUICK ENCORE -1
8 CHEVROLET CRUZE +4
9 CHEVROLET TRAX +4
10 HONDA ACCORD -1

Top Vehicles Targeted in the Northeastern US

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island & Vermont

It comes as no surprise that Subarus are among the most targeted vehicles in the Northeast, given their widespread use on New England roads thanks to their standard AWD. This list covers cars in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

RANK MAKE MODEL RANK CHANGE FROM 2021
1 HONDA CR-V +1
2 HONDA ACCORD -1
3 FORD F SERIES TRUCK +1
4 TOYOTA CAMRY -1
5 SUBARU FORESTER -
6 FORD EXPLORER +2
7 CHEVROLET EXPRESS +2
8 SUBARU OUTBACK -2
9 TOYOTA PRIUS +9
10 FORD ECONOLINE -

Top Vehicles Targeted in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, & Pennsylvania

The Mitsubishi Outlander, known for its affordability, experienced a significant surge in catalytic converter thefts compared to 2021 in this region. This list encompasses cars in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

RANK MAKE MODEL RANK CHANGE FROM 2021
1 HONDA CR-V +2
2 FORD F SERIES TRUCK -
3 HONDA ACCORD -2
4 FORD EXPLORER +1
5 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER +17
6 TOYOTA CAMRY -2
7 FORD ECONOLINE +4
8 CHEVROLET EQUINOX -2
9 CHEVROLET CRUZE -2
10 TOYOTA PRIUS -1

Top Vehicles Targeted in the Southeastern US

Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia & West Virginia

Aside from noticable jumps with the Honda CR-V and Kia Soul, rankings for the Southeastern region of the United States remained relatively consistent with the previous year's list. This area comprises Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

RANK MAKE MODEL RANK CHANGE FROM 2021
1 FORD F SERIES TRUCK -
2 HONDA ACCORD +1
3 FORD ECONOLINE -1
4 TOYOTA PRIUS +1
5 HONDA CR-V +5
6 CHEVROLET EXPRESS -2
7 CHEVROLET SILVERADO -
8 CHEVROLET EQUINOX -2
9 CHEVROLET CRUZE -1
10 KIA SOUL +5

Top Vehicles Targeted in the Deep South

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana & Mississippi

There were substantial jumps among a number of makes and models in the deep south. The Mitsubishi Outlander, Kia Soul, Ford Explorer, Ford Explorer and Toyota Tacoma experienced significant increases in thefts compared to 2021. This area encompasses Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

RANK MAKE MODEL RANK CHANGE FROM 2021
1 FORD F SERIES TRUCK -
2 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER +57
3 HONDA ACCORD +2
4 KIA SOUL +10
5 FORD ECONOLINE -2
6 FORD EXPLORER +10
7 CHEVROLET SILVERADO -1
8 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE +7
9 FORD EXPEDITION +18
10 TOYOTA TACOMA +8

Why Are Catalytic Converters Such A Big Target For Thieves?

Thieves target catalytic converters in search of a substantial profit by extracting the precious metals, including platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which command high market values.

Currently, platinum is valued at $1,100 per ounce, while palladium is trading at approximately $1,480 an ounce, and rhodium is the most valuable, with an astonishing value of around $8,200 per ounce. In comparison, gold is modestly valued at $1,990 per ounce, but these prices are subject to frequent fluctuations.

The high demand and limited supply of these metals have led to their high cost, prompting research into gold as a potential substitute.

Experts suggest that a standard catalytic converter can fetch anywhere between $25 to $300, while converters from hybrid vehicles can be sold for up to $1,400.

What Can You Do To Protect Yourself From Catalytic Converter Theft?

We have put together an easy to follow guide with simple tips that can help you or your insurance clients reduce the risk of becoming victims of catalytic converter theft.  You can view that article here.

About Premiere Services

CAT-Converter Express is a national service that handles theft and vandalism claims for all private passenger vehicles and the majority of commercial vehicles. Claims handlers can send an assignment to Premiere Services via CCCOne®, warm transfer phone call, email (claims@premiereservices.com), or through Premiere’s secure online quick claim portal found at https://premiereservices.com/quick-claim-form/. There are no setup fees, additional costs, or IT integration needed.

Premiere Services has been exclusively serving the insurance claims industry for 30 years. The company was started after Mark Puente experienced a theft loss, and after the claim was finished, he felt “there had to be a better way”. That has been the guiding principle for the company since 1991.

For more information or to set up a demo, please contact Premiere Services at 800-479-9945 or via email at demo@premiereservices.com.

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