(KERO) — AAA says catalytic converter thefts claims are up more than 1,000% since 2019, according to new insurance data.
According to AAA, two of the three rare earth metals used in catalytic converters, rhodium and palladium, are worth more per ounce than gold.
Prime targets for catalytic converter thieves are SUVs and fleet vehicles, said AAA. Toyota Priuses are also targeted since those vehicles have two catalytic converters and have more of the precious metals.
“For many people, our vehicles are some of the most expensive purchases we make during our lifetimes, so protecting them should be a priority,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe.
“With the cost of many goods and services on the rise these days, the last thing vehicle owners need is a costly car repair.”
With July being National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month, AAA offers some tips to prevent catalytic converter thefts:
- When possible, park in well-lit areas and close to building entrances.
- If you have a garage at your house, park your car inside and keep the garage door shut.
- If you own a high clearance vehicle like a truck or SUV, store it in a secure location.
- Have the catalytic converter welded to your car’s frame, which may make it harder to steal.
- Look into buying a converter-protection device which have been developed for the Prius and other vehicles targeted by thieves.
- Consider engraving your vehicle identification number (VIN) or license plate number on the catalytic converter. This may help alert a scrap dealer that it was stolen and make it easier to find the owner.
- Security devices, such as locks, are available that attach to the converter, making it harder to steal.
- Calibrate your car’s alarm to go off when it detects vibration.
- Carry a good insurance policy. Most insurance companies cover catalytic converter replacement costs if the vehicle owner has the optional comprehensive coverage, which covers damage to a vehicle not caused by a crash.