If you’re car savvy, you know exactly what that means—and what it costs to fix should you fall victim. If you’re not so car savvy, no worries. That’s why I’m reaching out. Here’s what you need to know about the rising risk and how you can protect yourself and your family’s drivers.
Catalytic Converter Theft Info and Stats
· A catalytic converter looks like a small muffler in your car’s exhaust system. It is designed to convert your engine’s hazardous exhaust into less harmful gasses.
· To do this, the converters use platinum, palladium, or rhodium. In recent years, the pandemic has pushed the values of these precious metals—and the corresponding thefts—to skyrocket. (As of January 2022, rhodium was $12,100 per ounce.)
· According to State Farm, in the 12-month period from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, catalytic converter theft rose 293% nationwide.
· Stealing a catalytic converter takes only seconds using some basic, readily available tools from a local hardware store, often only a handsaw.
· If you fall victim, it can be costly—anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 to have your car repaired on average.
· Thieves like to target larger vehicles like pickups and delivery vehicles since they offer easier access to the converter. However, insurance companies say thieves target one specific car more than any other – 2004-2009 Toyota Prius models. Why? Hybrids have catalytic converters with a higher concentration of precious metals than gasoline-only cars.
Tips to Safeguard Your Family
In light of this alarming trend, the National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends following these best practices to minimize your risk and safeguard your family:
- Park in a garage or secured parking area whenever possible.
- Install motion-sensor lights and security cameras to dissuade potential thieves.
- Always lock your vehicle and set the alarm.
- Install anti-theft devices.