Top 10 Catalytic Converter Theft Cars

Top 10 Catalytic Converter Theft Cars

Understanding Catalytic Converter Theft: A Comprehensive Guide

Catalytic converter theft has become a major issue in recent years, affecting car owners and dealerships alike. The valuable metals inside these devices make them a prime target for thieves, and their theft can result in costly repairs and insurance claims, we will talk about the top 10 catalytic converter theft cars.

In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at what catalytic converters are, why they are being stolen, and what you can do toprotect your vehicle.

What is a Catalytic Converter?

A catalytic converter is a device found in most modern vehicles that helps reduce the emission of harmful pollutants from the vehicle’s exhaust system.

It contains precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which make it a valuable target for thieves.

The converter works by converting the toxic gases produced by the vehicle into less harmful substances before they are released into the atmosphere.

Why are Catalytic Converters Being Stolen?

The rising value of precious metals, coupled with the increasing number of vehicles on the road, has led to a surge in catalytic converter theft.

The ease with which these devices can be removed and sold for scrap metal has made them a prime target for thieves.

In addition, many vehicles are parked on the street overnight, making them vulnerable to theft.

How Can You Protect Your Vehicle from Catalytic Converter Theft?

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your vehicle from catalytic converter theft. These include:

By taking these steps, you can reduce the risk of catalytic converter theft and protect your vehicle from costly repairs and insurance claims.

the following list has been provided by CARFAX

Most Targeted Cars Nationwide

Nationally, a variety of vehicles are in play.

Not surprisingly, some of the most popular nameplates from the last two decades are among the most sought-after.

What is surprising is that it is not limited to a single manufacturer or body style. Vehicles targeted include small cars like the Chrysler 200, SUVs like the Honda CR-V or Chevy Equinox, and full-size pickup trucks from Ford and GM.

Cars Most Likely to Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen Nationwide

  1. 1985-2021 Ford F-Series
  2. 1989-2020 Honda Accord
  3. 2007-17 Jeep Patriot
  4. 1990-2022 Ford Econoline
  5. 1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado
  6. 2005-21 Chevrolet Equinox
  7. 1997-2020 Honda CR-V
  8. 1987-2019 Toyota Camry
  9. 2011-17 Chrysler 200
  10. 2001-21 Toyota Prius


2022 Ford F-150
2022 Ford F-150 / Credit: Ford

Most Targeted Cars in the West

Location is important! The West has many of the same top targets as the national list, but the Prius tops the list instead of the Ford F-Series pickup, no doubt because the hybrid is extremely popular in areas with high gas prices and strict emissions laws, such as California. Subaru models are also popular in the West’s mountainous regions, where drivers appreciate the standard all-wheel drive (AWD).

Cars Most Likely to Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen in the West

  1. 2001-21 Toyota Prius
  2. 1985-2021 Ford F-Series
  3. 1989-2020 Honda Accord
  4. 1990-2022 Ford Econoline
  5. 1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado
  6. 2007-20 Subaru Outback
  7. 2007-17 Jeep Patriot
  8. 2003-11 Honda Element
  9. 1998-2020 Subaru Forester
  10. 1995-2021 Toyota Tacoma


2021 Toyota Prius
2022 Toyota Prius / Credit: Toyota

Most Targeted Cars In the Northeast

In the Northeast, it should surprise no one that Subarus appear; they’re ubiquitous on New England roads because of their standard AWD.

Cars Most Likely to Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen in the Northeast

  1. 1985-2021 Ford F-Series
  2. 1987-2019 Toyota Camry
  3. 1989-2020 Honda Accord
  4. 2007-17 Jeep Patriot
  5. 1997-2020 Honda CR-V
  6. 1998-2020 Subaru Forester
  7. 2007-20 Subaru Outback
  8. 1990-2022 Ford Econoline
  9. 1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado
  10. 1993-2020 Nissan Altima


2020 Subaru Outback
2022 Subaru Outback / Credit: Subaru

Most Targeted Cars in the South

In the South, there are more sedans in the lineup, including the compact Chevy Cruze and the midsize Dodge Avenger.

Cars Most Likely to Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen in the South

  • 1985-2021 Ford F-Series
  • 1989-2020 Honda Accord
  • 2007-17 Jeep Patriot
  • 1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 1990-2022 Ford Econoline
  • 2007-21 Jeep Compass
  • 1993-2020 Nissan Altima
  • 2008-14 Dodge Avenger
  • 2011-17 Chrysler 200
  • 2011-19 Chevrolet Cruze


2016 Chevrolet Cruze
2016 Chevrolet Cruze / Credit: Chevrolet

Most Targeted Cars in the Midwest

The Midwest list is a blend of other regions, with the Chrysler 200 much higher there and the Honda Accord much lower, but still in the Top 10.

Cars Most Likely to Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen in the Midwest

  1. 1985-2021 Ford F-Series
  2. 2007-17 Jeep Patriot
  3. 2011-17 Chrysler 200
  4. 2005-21 Chevrolet Equinox
  5. 2008-14 Dodge Avenger
  6. 1990-2022 Ford Econoline
  7. 1997-2020 Honda CR-V
  8. 1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado
  9. 1987-2019 Toyota Camry
  10. 1989-2020 Honda Accord


2016 Chrysler 200
2016 Chrysler 200 / Credit: Chrysler

Catalytic Converter Thefts Have Skyrocketed Since 2019

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which tracks crimes reported to insurance companies, the number of reported catalytic converter thefts increased from roughly 1,300 in 2018 to more than 52,000 in 2021, the most recent year for which data is available. That’s an increase of roughly 1,215% from 2019.

The reason? The costs of the precious metals in catalytic converters have skyrocketed, making converters more attractive to thieves.

“There is a clear connection between times of crisis, limited resources, and disruption of the supply chain that drives these thefts,” the NICB reports.

Catalytic Converter Theft Is Expensive

When your catalytic converter is stolen, the exhaust system on your car, truck, or SUV will make a loud noise from where the device was removed.

According to Christopher McDonold, executive director of the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council, catalytic converter theft can be a costly loss for car owners who do not have insurance coverage for it.

“If you don’t have full coverage or can’t get coverage, you’ll have to replace (the converter) out of pocket,” McDonold explained. According to the NICB, this can range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more.

What Causes Catalytic Converter Theft?

Thieves hope to make a large profit by melting down the precious metals found in anti-pollution devices, specifically platinum, palladium, and rhodium.

Platinum, for example, was recently trading at around $900 per ounce, while palladium was trading at around $2,200 per ounce. Rhodium – fasten your seatbelts – was going for nearly $13,000 at the time. Yes, 13,000 dollars per troy ounce. Gold, on the other hand, was only $1,700 per ounce. Because prices fluctuate so much and so frequently, those figures are subject to change.

These metals are so expensive due to high demand and limited supply globally, which is why gold is being investigated as a future alternative.

According to McDonold, thieves can make anywhere from $25 to $300 for a standard catalytic converter.

Hybrid vehicle ones can sell for up to $1,400.

Why Are Catalytic Converters Stolen From Hybrid Vehicles?

Why do hybrids exist? It’s because a hybrid’s catalytic converter requires more precious metals.

Because hybrid engines run less frequently, their exhaust does not become as hot.

What Is the Platinum Content of a Catalytic Converter?

The amount of these precious metals in a particular catalytic converter varies, but many current models have only 6 or fewer grams of all three combined (there are 28.35 grams in an ounce).

Depending on the amount of each metal, the value could be as low as $200 or as high as $1,000, indicating that there is some real value hidden inside catalytic converters.

It’s important to note that none of this activity has anything to do with the original automakers.

Catalytic converters have been required by the federal government as an emissions-control devices for most non-commercial vehicles since 1975. As these lists show, thieves, target a wide range of models, regardless of the vehicle’s size, age, or country of origin.


Catalytic converter theft is a growing problem, but there are steps you can take to protect your vehicle.

By understanding what catalytic converters are, why they are being stolen, and how to protect your vehicle, you can reduce the risk of theft and ensure that your vehicle remains safe and secure.

If you suspect that your catalytic converter has been stolen, we recommend contacting the authorities immediately.


Is Your Vehicle A Magnet For Catalytic Converter Thieves?

Ironically, luxury cars with the most expensive cat converters aren’t necessarily the most popular targets for thieves – although that does play a small role. Owners of cars on this list should be aware of where they are parking at all times.

Data indicates that a large instance of theft also occurs from fleet companies where a lot of cars are parked in one spot.

1985 – 2021 Ford F-Series pickup trucks (F-150, F250, etc)

1989 – 2020 Honda Accord

2007 – 2017 Jeep Patriot

1990 – 2022 Ford Econoline vans

1999 – 2021 Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks

2005 – 2021 Chevrolet Equinox

1997 – 2020 Honda CR-V

1987 – 2019 Toyota Camry

2011 – 2017 – Chrysler 200?

2001 – 2021 Toyota Prius





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