TMCnet News

[March 14, 2023]


Previous Reports Drastically Undercounted Incidents

CENTREVILLE, Va., March 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Recent media reports vastly undercounted catalytic converter thefts in the U.S., new CARFAX data shows. Thieves removed the devices from as many as 153,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2022, far more than earlier estimates. CARFAX data scientists reviewed catalytic converter replacements from millions of service and maintenance records to arrive at this number.

CARFAX data scientists reviewed catalytic converter replacements from millions of service and maintenance records.

Thieves are committing "opportunistic crimes," says Sgt. Matt Casavant with the Maine State Police. "Parking lots – even ones that were well lit – were getting hit. Car dealerships are getting hit on a regular basis, too. The thieves were so brazen that it didn't matter," he said. "My kid drives a Subaru and I won't let her leave her car overnight at the school or other places because it's a high-value target."

Criminals steal catalytic converters because of the precious metals – platinum, palladium, and rhodium – contained inside each device. Thieves can cut them from beneath vehicles in a matter of seconds, leading to a rude awakening for vehicle owners. Once the converter is removed, not only will the car make a loud noise when started, but it can cost owners thousands of dollars to replace that missing catalytic converter – especially if consumers don't have the right type of car insurance.

To help consumers, CARFAX has compiled a nationwide list of the top 2022 targets for these precious-metal thieves:

  1. Ford F-Series pickup trucks
  2. Honda Accord
  3. Toyota PriusHonda CR-V
  4. Ford Explorer
  5. Ford Econoline vans
  6. Chevrolet Equinox
  7. Chevrolet Silverado
  8. Toyota Tacoma
  9. Chevrolet Cruze

Depending on where you're located in the country, certain vehicles are targeted more heavily. We have a breakdown by region here.

Car owners looking to prevent catalytic converter theft should:

  • Park in a well-lit area.
  • Park in your garage if possible, instead of in the driveway or on the street.
  • If you must park in a driveway, consider installing motion sensor security lights.
  • Install a catalytic converter anti-theft device.
  • Have a muffler shop etch your vehicle's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the converter and spray it with a highly visible, high-heat paint. Doing so enables law enforcement to track converters, which in turn could lead police to the thieves.

Gone in 66 seconds: See video of a catalytic converter being removed from a vehicle:

Learn more about catalytic converters and why they're stolen:


CARFAX, part of S&P Global Mobility, helps millions of people every day confidently shop, buy, service and sell used cars with innovative solutions powered by CARFAX® vehicle history information. The expert in vehicle history since 1984, CARFAX provides exclusive services such as CARFAX Used Car ListingsCARFAX Car CareCARFAX History-Based Value and the flagship CARFAX Vehicle History Report to consumers and the automotive industry. CARFAX owns the world's largest vehicle history database and is nationally recognized as a top workplace by The Washington Post. Shop, Buy, Service, Sell – Show me the CARFAX®.

S&P Global Mobility is a division of S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI). S&P Global is the world's foremost provider of credit ratings, benchmarks, analytics and workflow solutions in the global capital, commodity and automotive markets.

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