Thieves skip Prius and its unique parts

Toyota’s hybrid Prius is less likely to be stolen in the United States compared with cars of a similar age as thieves look for parts that can be used in more-common vehicles, according to a trade group.

One in 606 of the 2008 to 2010 model-year Prius cars had been stolen as of the end of June, compared with 1 in 78 of all vehicles taken for those model years, the National Insurance Crime Bureau said Wednesday in a report.

“It’s a one-model car. The parts on it won’t fit anything else but a Prius,” John Abounader, executive director of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators, said in a phone interview. “If you use a Camry, for instance, the engine might fit in another car. On a Prius, the engine is so different because they’re hybrid.”

Hybrid cars like the Prius, introduced in the U.S. in 2000, are marketed as being among the most fuel-efficient vehicles. Thieves tend to target models that have been around longer because there is a bigger market for parts. Honda’s 1994 Accord was the most frequently stolen car in the U.S. in 2011, according to a separate NICB report. The 1998 Honda Civic was second.

“It could be that auto thieves are going to steal something for which there is generally a market or a need for the parts,” Frank Scafidi, a spokesman for the NICB, said in a phone interview. Parts for Hondas or Nissans “are much more valuable because people that own those things tend to keep them a long time.”

California had the most stolen Prius models, with 1,062 thefts. Florida came in second, with 127, followed by New York, with 111. The hybrid became the best-selling vehicle line this year in California, which increased the number of cars available for theft.

The recovery rate for a stolen Prius is 96.7 percent, according to the NICB report.

“As more and more of them survive the marketplace and are on the road, if the sales really start taking off more and more, we may see those numbers come more in line with what we’re finding with the rest of the vehicles,” Scafidi said.

bc-prius-thefts

More in Herald Business Journal

Health-care consumers need to take the lead, so get smart

David Russian, CEO of Western Washington Medical Group, writes our third essay about fixing health care.

Robots on Wall Street: Slow-footed regulators lose ground

Watchdogs have to figure out how to check computers running lightening-fast algorithms.

More business, more competition for Everett kidney dialysis center

Nonprofit Puget Sound Kidney Centers sees large for-profit competitors enter state market.

Molina Medical holds fall carnival for families in Everett

Molina Medical is hosting a free event for families in the Everett… Continue reading

Leadership Snohomish County celebrates 20 years of service

Leadership Snohomish County is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The organization was launched… Continue reading

Snohomish, Monroe manufacturers honored for innovation, excellence

Two Snohomish County companies have been honored with Manufacturing Excellence awards at… Continue reading

Remodeled home tours planned this weekend

This weekend, Edmonds-based Chermak Construction will participate in the 2017 Remodeled Homes… Continue reading

Barron Heating to celebrate anniversary at Marysville showroom

Barron Heating and Air Conditioning is celebrating its 45th anniversary from 10… Continue reading

US budget deficit hits $666B, an $80B spike for the year

The deficit issue has largely fallen in prominence in Washington in recent years.

Most Read