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This car is the number one target for crooks, a component is worth 11x more than gold

© Tekton – Unsplash

Car theft is a scourge that continues to plague France. According to a recent study carried out by our colleagues from Auto-Plus magazine, 134,000 vehicles were stolen from their owners in France in 2022. This trend is unfortunately growing very strongly since “only“ 8221; 122,000 thefts were recorded in 2021.

Among the car models most popular with crooks, the Toyota Prius occupies first place in the ranking. This hybrid sedan from the Japanese manufacturer, very popular with taxi drivers in the capital, attracts desire for an essential part: its catalytic converter. The famous car thus occupies this sad place for the second year in a row.

A catalytic converter that is worth gold

The catalytic converter is a device that helps reduce pollution emitted by exhaust gases. It is composed of precious metals such as platinum, palladium or rhodium, which are used to transform toxic gases into less harmful gases for the environment.

Due to the particularly high temperature high in its exhaust gases from this vehicle, it is forced to have a catalytic converter richer in precious metals than the average. The thieves have understood this well and therefore do not hesitate to cut the pot using a jack and a grinder – in a few minutes. Theythen resell the catalytic converter for more than 1,000 euros on the black market. To give you a point of comparison, rhodium alone is worth more than 600 euros per gram – i.e. 11x more than gold.

An optional protection measure

Faced with this upsurge in catalytic converter thefts in France, Toyota reacted by offering its customers a solution to protect their vehicle: a protective shield. This is a metal plate which covers the catalytic converter and which makes it more difficult for thieves to access.

This option, priced at almost 130 euros excluding the cost of installation, is available for the Toyota Prius but also for other models from the Toyota and Lexus brands (the top of the range of the group). If the bill seems steep at first glance, it is nevertheless lower than the cost of replacing the catalytic converter which, in the event of theft, will be billed at a minimum of 1,500 euros excluding labor costs. A word to the wise…

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116