Carfax, a company that keeps track of vehicle repair data, estimates that in 2022 there were over 153,000 vehicles targeted for catalytic converter theft. That's a considerably higher number than the insurance industry report of 52,000 claims.
At Adams Autoworx we are not surprised at this discrepancy - many clients who had their catalytic converters stolen drive older cars, and so do not carry comprehensive insurance coverage, which would pay for catalytic converter replacement. They pay out-of-pocket. Apparently nationwide that number is significant – hence Carfax estimate is 3 times higher than insurance company data.
This number also makes sense when considering that new catalytic converters are often on back-order, and depending on the vehicle model, one may have to wait months to get a replacement. If the lower number (as reported by insurance companies) were correct, auto repair industry would not be experiencing so many delays getting the new catalytic converters.
Interestingly, which cars are targeted most often differs by region. Here in the West, the most popular targets are (in order):
Toyota Prius, Honda Accord, Honda CR-V, Toyota Tacoma, Ford F Series trucks, Subaru Forester, Toyota Camry, Ford Econoline vans, Ford Explorer, Nissan NV vans.
Our Castro Valley auto care facility can service and repair all of the above mentioned vehicles and so we have seen our share of vehicles with missing catalytic converters.
We highly recommend parking your vehicle in the garage overnight. If this is not feasible, we offer catalytic converter shields that will make it difficult and time consuming for thieves to steal the catalytic converter, thus motivating them to move on to an easier target. It’s not a guarantee, but it seems to work well.
If you do find one day that your vehicle is making loud noise or is sluggish when accelerating and the check engine light is on - call Adams Autoworx to have your vehicle inspected.