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Auris Catalytic Converter Theft Solutions ?


citycash
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Our cat is a January 19 registered Hybrid Tourer

I know that this has been covered before but what I don't see  from other  posts is the grief and personal inconvenience that is caused by this sickening theft which must be done by total scumbags with no regards for anyone else.

My wife took her elder friend for a birthday treat at a local pub Friday 1tth September. This is in a nice rural village just outside of Lichfield Staffordshire.

Just over an hour later she drove away from the pub and as the car was in EV mode the engine didn’t kick in until she was half way down the road and then the inevitable roar of the exhaust brought her quickly to a stop.

She call Toyota recovery and was on hold for half and hour whilst they got in touch with the AA, the AA duly arrived an hour later.

She then decided to call the local police but was on hold fur a further hour, so after the initial problem at 2pm she finally arrived hoe at 6pm in a taxi.

She was absolutely distraught and worn out when she got home and was totally drained.

So now the local main dealer tells us they already have two Auris Hybrids in their compound waiting for converters and that they are an back order with Toyota.

We only have basic hire car cover and won’t be able to get one via the insurance company until Tuesday.

I’m sure that the people that do this kind of theft don’t give toss about the impact of their action on the victims and maybe even think that it’s victimless crime.

So we now have to leave our beloved Auris at the main dealers for maybe three weeks or more, so we would like to find out how we can minimise the chances of this happening with such ease in the future, tye main dealer has suggested a Tilt Sensor be fitted to the alarm system at a cost of £100, I have also seen a Catloc, which looks like a metal plate that sits beneath the converter. I believe these are around £250 ish fitted

 

Any suggestions and sympathy most welcome

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Phil, happy to send sympathy to you and your wife.

Given Toyota's excellent reputation for their behaviour when it comes to recalls, I do question why they haven't been more proactive in addressing the issue of catalytic converter thefts.  They want happy customers, and they want your next cars to be Toyotas, so why not offer some help?

I'm wondering what to do with our Aurises, whether to buy the tilt alarm, and/or buy Catlocs, and/or de-badge the cars to make them look like regular petrol editions.

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The two solutions have already been outlined - either a tilt sensor or converter security device, whether Catloc or other. 

At the end of the day, official DVSA recalls are for safety issues rather than security, so this issue doesn't come within that remit.

Toyota have worked with Catloc to produce model specific devices where those models are hardest hit by thefts, and have had production of these Catlocs increased. At the end of the day though, no security device is going to be a guarantee the converter won't be stolen again - much in the same way that an alarm or tracker doesn't guarantee either prevention against theft or vehicles being recovered after theft. Toyota have also reduced the price of replacement converters.

Debadging is another alternative, but the front Badge contains sensors to do with the Safety Sense system, so that shouldn't be removed. Thieves only have to look inside the car to notice the hybrid style change lever on the centre console area.

Toyotas aren't the only cars affected by these thefts - Hondas, Audis, etc are as well.

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Thank you for the response and the sympathy although the wife really deserves more than I do, but the fact that she was driven to tears over this escaped makes it more despicable.

WE left the car at the local vantage Toyota on friary and will speak to them on Monday about the options.

The reality is, that we really have to throw everything at to to minimise that chance this happening again.The tilt sensor was mentioned on Friday and I gave them the go ahead to order one in for me, the catloc is something that I have just come across on this forum but there seemed to be uncertainty as to whether it is available to fit our car.

I have already though about debadging, if the hybrid badges are only stuck on, then this is possibility, although it does loose a bit of your eco credibility. Also someone one facebook forum said that he had made a big plate to cover his but I don't have workshop facilties

 

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I remember that when Cats were first fitted to cars, from about 1991 onwards or something like that, theft of catalytic converters became an epidemic but as many cars had therm it has probably faded out of the public domain.

Maybe if it is so easily removed, then perhaps the manufacturers should be trying to make a bit more difficult.

I also get that no matter what the item is, car house, boat there is still only so much that you can you to stop a determined thief but then video CCTV footage from the pub where it happened shows that it took no more than two minutes

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Manufacturers have to weigh several things up when designing car - including secure/safe design and ease of repair. The more difficult things like catalytic convertors are to get to and replace, the more costly the repair. Insurance costs are partly based on repair costs, and if common components are expensive to replace through difficult installation, your insurance costs will increase.

Aside from that, in more recent cats, the quantity of precious metals is reduced, and this is less attractive to thieves.

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13 minutes ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

Aside from that, in more recent cats, the quantity of precious metals is reduced, and this is less attractive to thieves.

Ok, so how do you mean, my car is only 18 months old, so is mine a recent one. These thicko's pinching them probably would know the difference, so they will nick from all models won't they ?

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The second generation Auris dates back to 2012 and ended production in 2019. More recent models like the 2019 Corolla, C-HR, 4th generation Prius, etc will have fewer precious metals in their catalytic convertors, and the locations of the cats may be different to the Auris.

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1 hour ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

The two solutions have already been outlined - either a tilt sensor or converter security device, whether Catloc or other. 

At the end of the day, official DVSA recalls are for safety issues rather than security, so this issue doesn't come within that remit.

There's a significant message missing here, as Phil has found out to his cost:-

"We're aware that the Auris and Prius models are being targeted by thieving scrotes, and your vehicle is vulnerable.  If your vehicle has its catalytic converter stolen, you won't be able to drive it for a number of weeks, and someone (possibly your insurer, possibly you) will have to pay a four-figure sum for a replacement.  Whilst this isn't our fault, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of theft.  Please contact us to discuss options, because we would prefer that you didn't become another victim.  We have asked all our service personnel to mention this to owners when Auris and Prius cars visit Toyota dealers for servicing and recalls.  We have also asked all our sales personnel to mention this to potential owners of used Auris and Prius models so that they can make an informed decision when selecting their next vehicle."  

Toyota *could* have contacted their existing customers and notified them of this; Phil didn't know that there were options until after he and his wife were inconvenienced.  I only knew about CatLocks and tilt alarms from this Forum, and my car had a full service (££££) a week before I received the DVSA recall letter.  My dealer was more intent on up-selling me items such as the fuel additive and de-fluffing the air filter on the hybrid Battery.

Your point that neither a tilt alarm nor the Catloc would *guarantee* that the catalytic converter would not be stolen by a determined thief is fair; but becoming a victim of crime and then being told that you could have done something about it leaves a bad taste in the mouth and wallet.

What do you recommend to reduce the risk?

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For those interested in fitting a Cat lock, go on eBay and do a search, you will find plates from about £45, have it delivered and get a local garage to fit, job done for a lot cheaper then some.

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1 hour ago, Catlover said:

For those interested in fitting a Cat lock, go on ebay and do a search, you will find plates from about £45, have it delivered and get a local garage to fit, job done for a lot cheaper then some.

I did exactly that. eBay purchase for my Auris. Cost £75 total as had extra bars welded on to make it more difficult to cut off. Fixings I filled over in car filler. So far so good. Although if the thieves have time then no guarantee. I have removed the hybrid badges but not the blue logo badges as not done them yet. (Pre TSS) so no sensors. Unfortunately scum only needs to use a site like MOT history to find its a Hybrid or as said gear lever.

I live near Lichfield too in a nice village! Hope you get sorted soon. It's a horrible thing to happen. If mine was stolen twice I would probably sell it, but wouldn't know what to replace it with as like the economy, zero road tax and colour, ease of driving.

James.

 

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I wouldn't recommend anything.

I can point out options but it is down to the individual owners to decide whether they want to upgrade security on the chance that something may occur. For example on both of our cars, we use insurance approved steering wheel locks - which are a visual deterrent, over and above the existing security, and may be a delaying factor if someone were to try to steal our cars.

If Toyota had contacted owners to highlight the fact their catalytic converters could be at risk, would they then be seen as profiteering or causing unnecessary concern for those who subsequently have additional security fitted, but whose vehicles aren't involved in theft?

Have Ford and Vauxhall contacted owners of Fiestas and Corsas to say that thieves are stealing entire front ends of these (front wings, bonnets, front bumpers and panels, headlights, etc) and to take additional security measures? Nurse's Fiesta pictured that was cannibalised last year whilst parked on a street in Birmingham.

Have owners of various vehicles with smart entry been contacted by manufacturers (Jaguar-Landrover, Ford, VW, Nissan, etc) to say their vehicles are at risk of key cloning and subsequent theft? We had a neighbour's new Fiesta ST stolen from outside our house at 11am on a Saturday morning last year - took literally a handful of minutes. Smashed the driver's window, climbed inside, plugged in a key cloning device into the OBD port to mimic the key, pressed the start button, and they were off!.

Cat theft is just one example of current vehicle crime, and there is no easy answer to when or whether owners should automatically be contacted by dealers or manufacturers should there be surges in particular types of crime. 

2_fiesta-cannibalism.jpg

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Cat lock plate, de Badge all hybrid signs and remove blue from emblems where possible without affecting sensors.  for cars made after 2014 do not touch the front emblem. , when park just throw a blanket or towel over the gear shift and make it looks like conventional petrol car. Thieves can still run a number plate checks but they won’t bother once they drive past and see it’s not a hybrid, I am pretty sure that if you de Badge a Prius you may also lucky, those guys are not the smartest, trust me. Tilt alarm is the last solution, I personally won’t install that because those guys are not scared of been seen. 
Good luck , it’s most needed. 👍

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What is it about these hybrid models' catalysts that is so attractive?

The reports of these thefts, here, always seem to be relatde to hybrid Toyotas. Are their cats fitted in a different location, i.e. easier to access and remove than those fitted to other Toyota models? My 1.33l Yaris, for example.

Just curious and sympathy to those who have been affected.

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1 hour ago, TonyHSD said:

those guys are not scared of been seen. 

And it would be most unwise to challenge them too because they will have an IQ less than their age in years!

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mrpj. From what I can make out from a web search, on the Auris the exhaust runs right down the centre. I watched a video on this website where the mongrels did two cars in the same street that just by chance were parked opposite each other and they use the trolley jack on the kerb, so even parking against kerb is of no help.

So it seems that all they need is a trolley jack and an electric impact gun. So possibly welding the nuts may be a help, as well as the cat guard. I also plan to have the tilt sensor fitted @ £100 whilst it's at Toyota makes sense.

Our was removed in the less than three minutes, Amazingly I'm told that Toyota Charge two hours labour :-)

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8 hours ago, mrpj said:

What is it about these hybrid models' catalysts that is so attractive?

The reports of these thefts, here, always seem to be relatde to hybrid Toyotas. Are their cats fitted in a different location, i.e. easier to access and remove than those fitted to other Toyota models? My 1.33l Yaris, for example.

Just curious and sympathy to those who have been affected.

The people who buys the cats from the thieves are paying double for a cat from a Toyota hybrids plus ironically that cats are ultra easy to get off the car. Toyota 1.33 engines have their cats mounted on the front of the engine and it’s almost impossible to be taken of the car that way. Honda jazz has also similar placements of the cats and are also at great risk. Recently other Toyota models are been done, on 1.6 Auris for example is same as on the hybrids but there are no reports of stolen catalytic converters on those engines. Metal recyclers believe that there is more precious metals in the hybrids since they are driven half ice half on electric, higher the mileage is the car less metals left inside. Either way hybrids are biggest targets. 

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Thanks for the clarification Tony. Yes, the 1.33l's cat is, as you say, just below the exh. heat shield, at the front.

Yes, Phil, I watched that video. Quite amazing and scary.

 

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On 9/14/2020 at 7:26 PM, TonyHSD said:

The people who buys the cats from the thieves are paying double for a cat from a Toyota hybrids plus ironically that cats are ultra easy to get off the car. Toyota 1.33 engines have their cats mounted on the front of the engine and it’s almost impossible to be taken of the car that way. Honda jazz has also similar placements of the cats and are also at great risk. Recently other Toyota models are been done, on 1.6 Auris for example is same as on the hybrids but there are no reports of stolen catalytic converters on those engines. Metal recyclers believe that there is more precious metals in the hybrids since they are driven half ice half on electric, higher the mileage is the car less metals left inside. Either way hybrids are biggest targets. 

I was shocked to see a Celica 190 T-Sport has been a recent target! 

 

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On 9/13/2020 at 6:21 PM, citycash said:

Ok, so how do you mean, my car is only 18 months old, so is mine a recent one. These thicko's pinching them probably would know the difference, so they will nick from all models won't they ?

Probably wont make any difference to Messers Thicko and Son, they probably get £10-20 a cat,cash, regardless of what year car. These things are being stolen by the dozen, often by organised crime gangs and end up in the Fr East/China where nobody cares for the origin, sad but true 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi guys,

Not sure where to look for some answers, so will try here. 

My CAT was stolen in January, so emotions settled a bit now but as I only got the car back from the insurance company literally before the lockdown begun, I've not had a chance to drive it much.

Now back on the road, I noticed that MPG had gone well below what I used to get- I'd normally get 560miles on the tank, now it's down to 440. Same route, same distances. same petrol , same tyres, car serviced by Toyota.

 Insurer installed non OEM part- could this be the cause? 

Catloc installed by Toyota, bit of a nightmare as it scrapes of speed humps, so probably as aerodynamically streamlined as an elephant now.

I've made up my mind and getting rid of this soon but don't want to sell someone a lemon. 

Any ideas?

Cheers,

Will.

 

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32 minutes ago, Will GX13 said:

Insurer installed non OEM part- could this be the cause? 

I take it that this was the catalyst/exhaust piece that was not a Toyota part?

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Possibly a cause, BUT, I have had several Auris and consider myself competent at getting good MPG from my Hybrids (literally had 10 or more) and have never had 560 mile range from one. The current Corolla has a range of 530 or so and it is waaaayyyyy more fuel efficient than an Auris, are you correct in the range of 560? I have never seen that much range in one

The current cooler weather will also reduce consumption, it is slowly going down on my new Corolla with cooler mornings going to work 

 

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  • Devon Aygo changed the title to Auris Catalytic Converter Theft Solutions ?

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