Catalytic cat converter theft is a serious issue, but you can make your vehicle less vulnerable by parking it securely and installing security devices that sound an alarm when the converter is removed.
Thieves are increasingly targeting vehicles equipped with catalytic converters, such as hybrid cars, trucks and SUVs.
The Toyota Tacoma has long been a target for thieves due to its two catalytic converters, which can be stolen easily. But with the 2022 Tundra model year, both front and rear catalytic converters have been tucked further into the engine for added protection, making them much harder to steal.
Catalytic converter thefts are a particularly serious problem for pickup trucks, since these items often contain higher percentages of precious metals like platinum, rhodium and palladium which act as catalysts to transform hazardous gases into safer ones.
Protecting your catalytic converter can be done through various methods, such as installing anti-theft devices that activate when someone touches or jostles it. Other choices include installing a cat shield or cat lock for added protection.
Your car’s catalytic converter is an essential element in its emissions control system. It contains valuable metals such as platinum, rhodium and palladium which break down pollutants into harmless molecules.
Due to their deteriorating nature, it’s essential to safeguard them from theft. Anti-theft devices are an invaluable asset in this regard.
MillerCAT offers a cat shield that encases your converter, making it more difficult for thieves to take it away. These physical barriers are also tamper-proof and can be secured to your mounting points with security hardware.
Another way to prevent cat converter theft is by engraving your vehicle’s VIN or license plate number into the catalytic converter, making it harder for thieves to sell on the black market. Doing this also aids police in recognizing stolen parts and returning them to their rightful owners.
Toyota hybrids have become a prime target for cat converter theft. These devices reduce pollution by filtering exhaust gases through a catalyst before discharging them into the atmosphere.
These converters are constructed of precious metals such as palladium and rhodium, whose value has increased substantially in recent years. On average, these metals are worth eight times more than gold per gram.
Thieves can use cordless reciprocating saws to cut into cat converters in car parks and driveways, then sell the parts on the black market for tens of thousands of dollars. Recently, US law enforcement operations busted a nationwide crime ring that made more than $US545 million ($AU814 million) from stealing catalytic converters.
Toyota is responding by introducing a new anti-theft device for their 2023 Prius models. The shield covers the catalytic converter with an anti-tamper aluminium plate and secures to the vehicle using tamperproof bolts.
As their name implies, catalytic converters help filter exhaust emissions from gasoline-powered and hybrid cars. These toaster-sized devices send hot exhaust gasses through a honeycomb of rare metals which trap pollutants.
However, catalytic converters use more costly metals than standard car parts, making them a prime target for thieves. Their value has only grown more valuable with the rise in precious metal prices.
This has made older Toyota Prius models, which use catalytic converters, especially attractive to thieves. Claims for 2004-09 Prius models increased four times more in 2020 compared to 2016.
To deter thieves from targeting your vehicle, install physical anti-theft devices like cat shields and cat locks. Also, consider painting the catalytic converter brightly with engraving the VIN number to make it easier for police to identify stolen car parts and encourage would-be thieves to move on to less risky vehicles.