Catalytic converter theft is a big problem in the United States, with the precious metals used in these emissions-reducing devices being the main target. Some cars are “favoured” by thieves more than others, and according to vehicle data company CARFAX, the Toyota Prius is ranked among the top ten most targeted cars in the country.
Vehicle owners can protect their rides by installing catalytic converter anti-theft devices, and it looks like Toyota wants to make it more convenient for their customers to do so. For the 2023 Prius, the company is offering a catalytic converter shield through its Associated Accessory Products (AAP) programme for the price of USD140 (RM620).
Called the Cat Shield, the shield is made by California-based company Miller Cat and mounts to existing points on the underside of the Prius without needing to drill new holes. Made from 5052 grade aluminium, it is said to provide a high level of protection, excellent strength and corrosion resistance, while a tamper-proof screw kit helps to test the determination of thieves.
According to a report by Carscoops, Toyota also offers the Cat Shield for other vehicles, including older versions of the Prius as well as the Corolla, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra and 4Runner, with additional vehicles set to be added in the future. Given the cost of replacing a stolen catalytic converter can be over USD1,000 (RM4,433) for the Prius in the US, the price of a Cat Shield is pretty reasonable given the circumstances.
This epidemic isn’t exclusive to the US, as we also have cases of catalytic converter theft in Malaysia. Consider preventative measures such as parking your car in a well-lit area, installing a catalytic converter anti-theft device and etching your vehicle’s identification number (VIN) on the converter and spraying it with a highly visible, high-heat paint.