These Vehicles Are Most Vulnerable to Theft, Says IIHS

These Vehicles Are Most Vulnerable to Theft, Says IIHS As car theft continues to rise across the country, some car owners need to be more vigilant than others, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Luxury cars and sports cars usually rank high on the “Most Theft” list, but Hyundai and Kia thefts have been on the rise, rivaling more expensive models in recent years. The agency’s Highway Loss Data Institute says the main reason is the lack of engine stabilizers on some older models from those manufacturers.

These Vehicles Are Most Vulnerable to Theft, Says IIHS

To determine which vehicles are stolen most often, the 2022 HLDI study looked at entire vehicle theft losses (based on comprehensive insurance theft claims that reflect the dollar value of the covered vehicle). The frequency of theft was determined by the number of claims per 1,000 vehicles insured to account for the fact that the most popular vehicles would be stolen more often. While thieves target consistently high-priced cars, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio and Kia Sportage recently climbed into the top 20.

1. Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

2. Dodge Charger Hemi

3. Infiniti Q50

4. Dodge Challenger

5. Land Rover Range Rover all-wheel drive

6. Land Rover Range Rover Sport 4WD

7. Nissan Maxima

8. Kia Rio

9. Dodge Charger

10. Honda Accord

11. BMW X7 4WD

12. Chrysler 300

13. Kia Sportage


15. Ford F-350 SuperCrew 4WD

16. Kia Sportage 4WD

17. Ford F-250 SuperCrew 4WD

18. Honda CR-V

19. Dodge Durango 4WD

20. Hyundai Accent

Lost immobilizers lead to thefts

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These Vehicles Are Most Vulnerable to Theft, Says IIHS

HLDI has identified a recent rise in car thefts for 2015-19 Hyundai and Kia vehicles, with the frequency of claims for the first six months of 2021 twice as high as in 2019. Additionally, car thefts have been nearly as common for Hyundai and Kia than for all other manufacturers. Combined, according to the agency’s report. While increases in thefts were observed in all states, Wisconsin and Colorado saw the largest increases.

The reason for the worrying trend is that these cars are likely easier targets because brands have been slow to add engine stabilizers to their cars. (The immobilizer is an electronic safety device that prevents the engine from starting without a digital key.) According to HLDI, only 26% of 2015 Hyundai and Kia models have standard stabilizers, versus 96% of all other brands combined.

What has been done?

Hyundai and Kia have begun adding immobilizers in new cars in response to the rise in thefts: 78% of 2021 models are equipped with this feature, and most new models offer them today. For older cars, Hyundai and Kia say they are working with local police departments to make steering wheel locks available to owners, and Hyundai says it will make a vehicle safety kit available for purchase in October.

Is your car in danger?

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These Vehicles Are Most Vulnerable to Theft, Says IIHS

In addition to the above models, luxury cars and sports cars are common targets for car thieves: two Range Rovers and four Dodges have landed among the top 10 stolen.

While the Toyota Prius didn’t make the list, HLDI found the hybrid catalytic converter to be particularly desirable. A 2021 study found that overall catalytic losses between the 2004-09 Toyota Prius were 18 times higher in 2020 than in 2018. Honda Accord owners should note that the claimed frequencies were nearly four times higher for available 19-inch-wheel models than those with Base wheel size.

Vehicle theft prevention

Regardless of the make and model, owners can help prevent their vehicle from being stolen. Always close doors, close windows completely, and stand in well-lit areas. Additionally, devices such as alarms, brake locks, and wheel locks can help deter thieves. Finally, if the vehicle does not have an immobilizer, aftermarket options such as smart switches or cut-off valves can be installed.

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