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RAV 4 Hybrid & Catalytic convertor theft

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Hello Everybody.

I have just joined this forum as I have ordered a new RAV4 Hybrid. Having test driven the RAV4 hybrid and from owning an Auris hybrid a few years ago I decided it was the right choice for us. Unfortunately though, after having done a lot of reading on the internet, and from the experiences of friends, I am starting to have concerns about the vulnerability of this model to catalytic convertor theft. I have read all about the Prius and Auris being particular targets for thieves, but with the rising demand and prices of the rare metals in the catalytic convertors, hybrid SUVs must be looking like tempting and easy targets. Does anyone know of a RAV4 that has had it’s catalytic convertor stolen yet? I’m aware that newer Toyota hybrids use less of the rare metals in the cats, but the metal is still there for the taking and is worth something to the criminals. If it’s easy to take they will take it.

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Any vehicles with high ground clearance (SUV's, pick ups, vans, etc) are already targets for cat thefts. Not heard of Rav 4's being affected - as yet!

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Hi,

Although ground clearance of the RAV4 is somewhat higher than an average passenger car, it's still not feasible to just grab the catalytic convertor and run off with it unnoticed, without jacking it up quite a bit. It may therefore help to install an after market class-3 or higher alarm system with tilt sensor which makes the alarm go off when the car is jacked up. Stickers on the windows warn, that a horrible noise will result if they try.
I have invested in such a system from new, which integrates into the standard Toyota remote & immobilizer system. It was installed before delivery of the car, under supervision of the Toyota dealership.

It operates with the normal Toyota fob, and uses a random security key every time the car is locked.
And it works! Even cleaning the windscreen without first deactivating the system, makes your heart stop for a while. 😖
It's half the price of the Toyota alarm option and I hope it's discouraging enough.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLnGtR4IMHU

 

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Just in case anyone hasn't seen this on the Auris section and is interested...

Like Frosty, I've not seen any reports of RAV4 cats being stolen, but they are obviously vulnerable.  Hybrid cats have been said in some reports to be particularly attractive to  thieves because the precious metals inside tend to be in better condition since the Hybrid engines aren't running all the time, and they tend to be cleaner in the first place.

Plenty of Prius and Auris cat thefts have been reported with some being victims a second time and a few despite having catlocks fitted.

From the videos like this one posted on various threads it seems doubtful that alarms or much else will deter them if they are prepared to do it in front of an audience while being filmed (even even waving as they leave!).  Many thefts have occurred in full view of CCTV too, but with their ski masks or similar and false plates or stolen getaway vehicles, there doesn't seem to be much to stop them.  Serioulsy under resourced Police forced on't help either.

 

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Would have thought the previous generation Rav 4 hybrid may be more vulnerable.

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There is a thread on the Lexus Owners Club discussing this about the NX (same drive-train as the previous RAV4 hybrid) and someone used the Lexus Tech site to check the location of the cat and found that it was well enough hidden within the engine to make it almost impossible to steal from below (never say never!).

It would seem that the current generation of hybrid drive-trains have mostly sorted the issue of cat theft (again, never say never!) but the Auris was sold as new right up to 2019 with the 3rd gen Prius hybrid engine which first came on sale in 2009.

 

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Thanks for the replies.

Has anyone actuallly managed to look under the latest RAV4 Hybrid? It’s possible that the catalytic convertor is already positioned in an inaccessible location. Presently I drive a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in which the ‘cat’ is up in the engine compartment and therefore fairly unreachable.

Also, thanks Willem, but the latest RAV4 Hybrid is shown as already having a tilt sensor, in the brochure specifications, and I still think that a ‘skinny’ lad could get under the car without jacking it up (it’s thought that a certain, local criminal around here has a gang of kids to help to do his jobs!).

 

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Just spent my £3 on the Toyota Tech site and there are two 'cats' (is that normal for other cars?)!

Over in the Auris section someone has removed their Hybrid badges, might be tempted to do that myself when my one turns up in May...

 

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7 minutes ago, duncerduncs said:

Over in the Auris section someone has removed their Hybrid badges, might be tempted to do that myself when my one turns up in May...

As per the reply to the Auris topic, the front Badge on the Rav4 may house a sensor for the Toyota Safety Sense.

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1 minute ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

As per the reply to the Auris topic, the front badge on the Rav4 may house a sensor for the Toyota Safety Sense.

Indeed it does, I'm thinking that just removing the actual hybrid wording should be enough.  I'm not too concerned with the blue background on the Toyota badge 👍

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So, if you take the Hybrid Badge off what are you trying to tell would be thieves?  Dont petrol only Rav 4 have a cat fitted.?   

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4 hours ago, Catlover said:

So, if you take the Hybrid badge off what are you trying to tell would be thieves?  Dont petrol only Rav 4 have a cat fitted.?   

They do, but it is clear that the thieves are targeting hybrid vehicles as they know that they have their cats in the best condition. 

I'm wondering if I can buy some D-CAT badges like my old T180 used to have and really confuse them!! 😂

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Just now, duncerduncs said:

...I'm wondering if I can buy some D-CAT badges like my old T180 used to have and really confuse them!! 😂

or how about EV badges?  😁

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I don’t think you can do anything, the thief will still get under your car and take it. The car is a RAV4 and that’s what they would look for, and not take any notice of badges. 

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I need to have a look under a 2019 RAV4 hybrid before I buy one - hopefully without anyone thinking I’m about to steal the cat! I saw a video on Youtube of the underside of a 2016 version and the cat was partly behind a metal shield, but still accessible. Maybe the 2020 version is different?? I will have to go to a Toyota dealer. I won’t buy one if the cat is really exposed - I would worry every time I leave my shiny, new car in a public area.

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Although all cat equipped vehicles are at risk, it seems that hybrids are more usually targeted, as noted above. However, it's usually earlier generation hybrids (Prius seems particularly popular) that are targeted preferentially, as those cats have a greater quantity of more valuable metals in them. Manufacturers are keen on reducing costs, so cat technology advances to reduce reliance on the Rhoduim and Palladium in them.

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I find it best to not read the Daily Mail and to just enjoy my car.

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