Throughout 2019 so far, there has been a sharp increase in the thefts of catalytic converters from cars throughout the country. This vital component is a part of a car's emissions control system which helps clean up exhaust gases before they exit the vehicle. All cars sold since 1993 by law are required to be fitted with one of these.
More information about the rise in catalytic converter thefts is available on the BBC.
What can I do to my protect my car?
To respond to this spike in catalytic converter thefts, SLM Toyota is now offering 'Catloc', a device developed by Toyota to counter opportunist thieves which has been specifically designed for the second generation Prius.
The Catloc is made from a tough and durable marine-grade stainless steel which will attach to your car using anti-tamper fixings and a marking kit that will chemically etch a unique serial number into your catalytic converter. This device has also been approved by UK Police and accredited by Thatcham Research.
How much is a Catloc?
The Catloc is available from £200 which includes VAT and fitting by us, as well as a three-year warranty.
Model Cost Prius Gen 2 £200 Prius Gen 3 & Auris Gen 2 £250
This device is also available for Toyota light commercial vehicles including: Hilux pick-up, PROACE van and PROACE Verso people carrier.
How much is a Catalytic Converter?
If your catalytic converter has been taken, we have further reduced the cost of this key component. Prices include replacement catalytic converter, catloc and full fitting, including VAT.
Model Cost Auris Gen 2 £950 Prius Gen 2 £1,000 Prius Gen 3 £1,050
Tips To Protect Your Car Against Catalytic Converter Theft
It takes merely minutes for a thief to take the catalytic converter from your car, leaving you to foot the bill for a replacement.
To reduce the chance of your car's catalytic converter being stolen, follow these tips:
- Park with your exhaust close to a fence, wall or a kerb which will make a theft more difficult.
- Park your car in a locked garage where possible, or in a well-lit populated area.
- Avoid leaving your car half on a pavement and half on the road.
- If using a public car park, put you car alongside another car and face your bonnet towards the wall if possible. As the catalytic converter is positioned at the front of the vehicle, this make it hard for a thief to get close to it.
- If you have a fleet of vehicles, park the low clearance vehicles to block the high clearances vehicles, which will obstruct access underneath.
- If your catalytic converter is bolted on, we or another garage can weld the bolts, making it significantly harder to remove.
- Etch a serial number on to your converter
- Purchase a cage clamp - a cage device which locks in around the converter
If you happen to see someone acting suspiciously underneath a vehicle, obtain as much information as possible (such as a description of the person, vehicle registration number) and contact the Police.
Any car fitted with a catalytic converter is at risk of being a target by these thieves due to the converter using precious metals such as rhodium, platinum and palladium. However the second generation Prius model, sold as new between 2004 and 2009 has been a particular target for thieves because of the additional quantity of these precious metals found inside their converters. Other notable targets include cars with a high chassis such as 4x4s or SUVs.
Catalytic converters are expensive to replace, but they are also mandatory to keep a car road-worthy. As a car gets older meaning its value subsequently decreases, the cost of a replacement converter can become a hinderance.
If you have any questions about your car and its catalytic converter, feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to help!
*It is important to note that Catlocs are designed as a preventative security measure against opportunist theft only, as fitment will not stop a determined criminal from removing the device and Catalyst if they have enough time and the right equipment. TGB doesn’t guarantee or underwrite any financial claims for loss of Catalyst or Catlocs. #30832