The 2004-2009 Prius is the one during which the phrase “iconic” began to use to Toyota’s hybrid trendsetter. Although there had been an earlier Prius, this one’s 55-mpg window sticker, distinctive kammback silhouette and, quickly, varied superstar sightings all made it an understated, eco-chic strategy to be seen. 

And now, it appears, thieves are noticing these older Prius fashions—in addition to all hybrids. Why? Merely put, it’s the valuable metals wanted for the catalytic converter, which embrace platinum, rhodium, and palladium, and better quantities of them are wanted in hybrid cats due to their emissions classification and the frequent begins their engines must make. The provision chain upheaval, and the corresponding spike in demand for treasured metals has pushed up prices in some unlikely locations, such that thieves can get nearly as a lot for the catalytic converter as they could see from stealing the entire automotive.

Catalytic converter claims - HLDI, 11/2021

Catalytic converter claims – HLDI, 11/2021

The theft price for Prius fashions from that period was greater than 40 instances greater in 2020 than in 2016, with theft losses about 45 instances greater per insured car yr, famous the Freeway Loss Information Institute this previous week. And in keeping with the Nationwide Insurance coverage Crime Bureau (NICB), catalytic converter thefts themselves have risen from about 100 per thirty days in 2018 to greater than 1,200 per thirty days in 2020. In keeping with an NICB replace from earlier this yr, that spike occurred close to the tip of 2020, and it’s possible continued properly into 2021.

Catalytic converter thefts - NICB, 3/2021

Catalytic converter thefts – NICB, 3/2021

Prius theft claims are at their highest in California, Oregon, and Washington, with total declare frequencies up dramatically from 2019 to 2020. 

The HLDI factors to scrap costs reaching $1,022 for the 2004-2009 Prius, whereas the third-generation 2010-2015 Prius catalytic converter is commanding simply $548 and, for comparability’s sake, a 2007 F-150 FX-4 cat prices simply $143. 

Even when house owners have complete insurance coverage, those that have their catalytic converter stolen will then must pay a premium towards the greater than $3,000 price ticket for a substitute catalytic converter. 

2022 Honda Insight

2022 Honda Perception

Lax state guidelines are a part of the problem the group factors out. Just a few states require the patrons of such elements to determine the sellers; and regardless of their excessive worth, catalytic converters aren’t stamped with car identification numbers. 

The NICB factors out that the latest catalytic converters require much more of these sought-after metals. So just be sure you’re coated for this sort of theft. Spend money on correct lighting and safety. And, maybe, contemplate making the hybrid the one you park within the storage. 

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