Catalytic converter thefts: Thieves target these vehicles the most

Automobile catalytic converter emission control devices sit in a trolley at BM Catalysts in Mansfield, U.K., on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. Platinum extended its slump to the lowest in more than six years amid concerns demand from automakers will slow

Around 153,000 catalytic converters were stolen in the United States last year, and that number may be even higher, according to data from CarFax.

Comprehensive insurance covers the replacement of this part, but some drivers don't have comprehensive coverage, meaning that these thefts wouldn't be reported to insurance.

Thieves cut the catalytic converters off the underside of cars then melt the precious metals and sell them. Experts say thieves can make anywhere from $25 to $300 for a standard catalytic converter, while ones from hybrid vehicles can sell for up to $1,400.

And replacing these anti-pollution devices are expensive – you may have to pay $2,000 to $3,000.

If your catalytic converter has been removed, the vehicle will run loud. Without a catalytic converter, a vehicle does not convert emissions from the engine into safe gases before they leave the vehicle.

Since a thief has to go underneath a vehicle to get the converter, big vehicles are often targeted. However, some cars fall into the top 10 for most stolen catalytic converters, too. 

Carfax compiled a list of the most commonly targeted vehicles in the United States:

  1. Ford F Series trucks
  2. Honda Accord
  3. Toyota Prius
  4. Honda CR-V
  5. Ford Explorer
  6. Ford Ecoline
  7. Chevrolet Equinox
  8. Chevrolet Silverado
  9. Toyota Tacoma
  10. Chevrolet Cruze

Carfax also broke down the data by region. Here are the most targeted vehicles in the Midwest:

  1. Ford F Series trucks
  2. Chevrolet Equinox
  3. Honda CR-V
  4. Toyota Prius
  5. Ford Ecoline
  6. Ford Explorer
  7. Buick Encore
  8. Chevrolet Cruze
  9. Chevrolet Trax
  10. Honda Accord