Sign in to follow this  
Brendan2

Catalytic Convertor Theft from Prius - the law needs changing.

Recommended Posts

The Guardian published another article on Saturday 1st February: See https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/feb/01/catalytic-converter-thefts-hybrid-car-insurance-toyota-prius  Some owners are having insurance problems following theft of cat. convertors.   I am particularly concerned by the statement “The thieves make about £300 to £500 from every converter stolen, fenced through scrap metal dealers, with car manufacturers warning that a gap in the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 enables dodgy dealers to buy them without checks required on where they came from. Bizarrely this crime only takes place in Britain, with an outbreak in California contained by new laws."    I wonder if there's anything that can be done to close this loophole, and am planning to write to my MP.   Can I suggest others do this, unless there's a better way to escalate.  

We have a fourth generation Prius. We know several people who have had their catalytic convertors stolen, but they all had earlier models which have more precious metal.  However  I notice in this forum that at least one 4th generation Prius had it's "cat" stolen.  So the other action we could take is to fit a catlock - I see the price is now £250, but last time I asked our dealer, they said the wait time was huge. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cat thefts don't just occur in Britain.

Part of the issue is that Local Authorities, who are responsible for managing the checks that scrap metal dealers, both mobile and static, are supposed to undertake, are directing funding to other services which have a higher profile. 

Of course, this won't stop the so called gangs illegally exporting stolen cats to circumvent UK scrap metal dealers.

Yes raising the issue with one's MP is one avenue. Another avenue, as mentioned in an earlier topic, would be to raise a petition using Government's petition website, although currently Government need to set up a new Petitions Committee due to the general election - https://petition.parliament.uk     If a petition raises 100,000 signatures, it has to be considered for discussion in parliament.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are other threads on this forum covering cat stealing, worth looking at as some give links to protection devices on ebay, get your own garage to fit, and there is one that looks particularly impressive. Some of those for sale can be fitted at a garage in London.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LoL scrap cats are about £60, they are not scrapped in the uk but exported to Eastern Europe - there are alternative to 'cat-loc' available but thieves are getting around these devices

 

A wild guess here the person who wrote the article had a cat stolen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

Cat thefts don't just occur in Britain.

Yeah, they're happening here in Ireland too, and there's no sign of thefts stopping in California or other parts of the US - I hear about thefts on Reddit all the time.

The suspicion here is also that the stolen cats are being smuggled out the country, although there are similar complaints here that scrap dealers are not strict enough with ID verification and the likes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Change of law is urgently needed. No person should be able to sell Catalytic converts as a scrap metal, only licensed auto breakers , plus they should have stumped the reg. number of each car to the cat before sell to metal recycling company so if lany suspicious activity than can be traced, no cat should be exchanged for money in any other circumstances. Some Cat thieves should be hunted and locked for a good time in prison, make public to understand what is happening. It is so easy anything to be done, these days politicians are real joke everywhere around the world. People priority are not of their interest but only making their money. Every single foreign white van that leaves the country should be checked, but why politicians should bother, they are banning the fossil fuel cars sooner so why should they spent money on to protect the nation. It is not only an organised crime, there are many single working thieves that help themselves with peoples property. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Until an MPs or other so called important people have their hybrid Cat stolen nothing will be done. The police do not seem to have the man power to track and arrest the thieves or the do is give a crime number and advise to contact your insurer.. 

Regarding availability of catlocks at dealers.. I had one fitted for our Gen 4 at local dealers no problem. My son had one fitted to his gen 3 at the same dealer about 4 weeks ago no problem..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TonyHSD said:

Change of law is urgently needed. No person should be able to sell Catalytic converts as a scrap metal, only licensed auto breakers , p

That is not where the majority go, they are shipped out to China and India by criminal gangs

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Parts-King said:

That is not where the majority go, they are shipped out to China and India by criminal gangs

Well new things learned every day, if authorities do something those crimes will be reduced, in fact no one has done anything to stop that illegal trade. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are Toyota doing about this?  Are the brand new Prius coming out with a secure cat?

If they are, there should be a recall on all the older Prius.

If Toyota aren't doing anything about this issue at all, shame on them.

Mick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Mick F said:

.... there should be a recall on all the older Prius.

Official DVSA recalls are for safety issues and stolen cats aren't a safety issue. Exactly the same as the thousands of vehicle thefts which have happened due to weaknesses in smart entry systems, etc from numbers of manufacturers.

There are already topics on here which spell out what Toyota have done re cat thefts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The receptionist at the dealers told me that Toyota had said they are looking into the Catalytic Convertor thefts with some urgency???

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mick F said:

Are the brand new Prius coming out with a secure cat?

Not what you were asking, but the latest Corolla looks very similar underneath to an Auris, from a scumbag perspective anyway.

If you were to ask the owners of any of the cars relating to this topic "What is the worst aspect of owning your Toyota hybrid?", then catalyst theft must be emphatically at the top of many people's list.  As such, whether it should be Toyota's responsibility or not, you might expect a more energetic response from them, rather than just the robotic answers from Toyota GB's online message board.  Can they not their thoughts on the current exhaust theft epidemic known to the government?

If they 'bit the bullet' and fitted some new underbody security to all their relevant hybrids, then perhaps, even if the exhausts were not totally unstealable afterwards, do you not think that the hybrid Badge would then be associated with 'lots of extra work involved to steal the cat. - don't bother', rather than what exists at the moment, so thieves might look elsewhere?  At present, by the time the thieves have discovered a Catloc is fitted, then is there an element of being committed to taking the cat. regardless of the extra work, do you think?  Maybe?

Toyota obviously know these cars inside out, they know what security modifications will damage the car in the longer term (e.g. potential catalyst overheating?), and they have the manufacturing ability to get modifications done cheaply, especially if done in great numbers, rather than relying on some other company to come up with a design.  If Toyota won't do more to help then that just leaves action from the authorities. 

Or a d-i-y under-car, automated, urine delivery system.  I've got some ideas... 

:-)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a National problem , the Government is to tackle not Toyota car manufacturer. They should obviously address it and help owners made an official complaint.. I will never blame Toyota for design, it is the grey trade, the loop in law and the kind of people we are surrounded, Beautiful Britain. It is not true that cat thefts are so popular in any other country, yes they do happen occasionally but here is a virus. , actually it is the catvirus not corona. Government, local council and police, all need to work against to stop growing. Now are the hybrids but then will be another make and model, thieves are not that smart, dumb a.., they are stimulated to cut hybrid cats from the people who pay them to do it. Not Toyota fault. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, TonyHSD said:

 ......... Not Toyota fault. 

Our last two cars had cats.  Renault Clio and Fiat 500.

Why aren't their cats being stolen?  Why Toyota Hybrids?

Other manufacturers produce Hybrids.  Are their cats being stolen?

Mick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because Hybrids have higher quality/more precious metals in them that do not deteriorate as much as non Hybrid cars 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I can understand that.  Thanks.

Other Hybrids include Hyundai, BMW, Volvo, Honda and even MINI.  Do they suffer from cat thefts?

Mick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/6/2020 at 6:24 PM, Mick F said:

Ok, I can understand that.  Thanks.

Other Hybrids include Hyundai, BMW, Volvo, Honda and even MINI.  Do they suffer from cat thefts?

Mick.

Yes.  Other brands are targetted as well as Toyota.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live in central EU and cat thefts are more or less nonexistent here. The laws can be changed, your government just does not care.

If i was in such danger of getting the cat stolen, i would investigate alternatives, like taking the cat out myself, putting a straight pipe, or cheapest cat i could find, and if needed some dummy sensors to not impair cars functionality.

Spending more money on a cat lock, then having that destroyed too, and your insurance premium also going up, is absurd to me, you try to play nice while everyone else out there is playing another game.

image.thumb.png.2de1f7a6cb43fc638f532ea4b292b3bd.png

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to Wayne for coming up with the FOI data from the Met Website - very interesting.   A very quick look shows that about 2/3rds of Catalytic Convertor Thefts appear to be from Toyota Prius.   But interestingly the more detailed list by model from Barnet shows Prius being misspelled and thefts being allocated to several different models of the Prius.  If you add all these up, then in Barnet from Oct 2018 to April 2019 then almost 80% of the recorded thefts were from Toyota Prius models.  This data is only up to April 2019, but the upward trend is striking with each month showing a large increase in the number of thefts.    Our Catalytic Convertor has (fortunately) not been stolen, but we know several people who lost theirs last summer/autumn.  We have an "early fourth generation" model, and our Toyota garage just a few days ago said the catloc device is not yet available for this model, but will hopefully be available from March or April.  If you have a "later fourth gen." the catlocs are available.  But they only offer limited resistance to theft, said the garage.

Not a good situation!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad you found it useful, Brendan 👍 

 

I have submitted an FOI request for breakdown by vehicle models for the latest data available from the following Police forces:

01. The Met

02. Nottingham

03. West Yorkshire

 

Hopefully, we get something back in the next couple of weeks....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole catalytic converter theft issue is something that has me on the fence about purchasing a Prius.

Seems someone already requested info from Northumbria police (Northumberland, North East) which saves some effort!

https://beta.northumbria.police.uk/about-us/publications-and-documents/accessing-information/disclosure-log/crime-statistics/catalytic-converter-theft-133319/

Quote

Location

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019*

Total

Gateshead

 

1

 

 

1

2

Newcastle

2

1

2

7

2

14

North Tyneside

 

1

 

1

2

4

Northumberland

3

 

 

1

4

8

South Tyneside

 

1

 

1

 

2

Sunderland

 

 

 

 

1

1

Total

5

4

2

10

10

31

Another FOI: https://beta.northumbria.police.uk/about-us/publications-and-documents/accessing-information/disclosure-log/crime-statistics/thefts-from-mv-123618/

Quote

Fiscal Year

Catalytic convertor

2013/14

30

2014/15

26

2015/16

4

2016/17

3

2017/18

3

Total

66

Note, these are catalytic converter thefts in general and not specific to Prius. The low number is quite surprising - I wonder if there is a lot fewer hybrids/prius in the North East than elsewhere?

---

An interesting read here: https://blog.toyota.co.uk/catalytic-converter-theft-how-to-protect-your-car

Check out the comments at the bottom of the page, Toyota UK is replying as recently as 4 days ago. If you have a catalytic converter theft it may be worth kicking up a stink in the comments to see if Toyota will help at all.

---

Some interesting things to note:

https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/car-industry-news/2019/09/23/huge-rise-in-theft-of-catalytic-converters-from-cars

Quote

Car manufacturers have also taken steps to protect catalytic converters from theft. Honda, for example, has fitted Accord and Jazz models from 2008 onwards with a tray under the car to make it harder for thieves to get at the catalytic converter.

In models from 2015 onwards, the catalytic converter has been placed within the engine bay, so a thief would need to disassemble the car to get at it.

So Honda has taken responsibility and protecting catalytic converters from 2008 onwards, that's 12 years.

A comment from Toyota blog:

Quote

So does that mean that the newer Toyota models now have their catalytic converters concealed and therefore the risk of theft is much lower? This is what Honda apparently have done with their newer models.

Reply from Toyota:

Quote

Hi there,

Thanks for your message. Over time we have reduced the quantity of precious metals by up to 84% in catalytic converter design.

Thanks.

So Toyota have not even bothered to hide the catalytic converter or conceal/protect it as standard even for newer models.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this