Ford F-250 becomes car thieves' favorite target
GM pickups, SUVs nab 8 of top 10 spots in annual theft list.
But the big Caddy fell to only sixth place in the annual survey by the Highway Loss Data Institute, and the HLDI found that Cadillac's parent General Motors still had eight of the top 10 spots in terms of theft claims.
Pickups, in particular, proved extremely popular with thieves during the 2010 to 2012 timeframe covered by the new study, accounting for the first five vehicles on the list.
According to the HLDI, its study does not distinguish between theft of a whole vehicle and the theft of components or vehicle contents. And "many pickup claims," it notes in a statement, "result from the theft of equipment from the truck bed" — something likely common with the list-leading F-250.
The fact that the Escalade fell so sharply after leading the theft list since 2003, meanwhile, may be a positive sign for an embarrassed General Motors, which has promised to improve its antitheft technology — something it plans to integrate into new versions of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups coming for the 2014 model-year.
"General Motors has put a lot of effort into new antitheft technology, so that may help explain the decline in the Escalade's theft rate," said HLDI vice president Matt Moore, who cautioned that, "On the other hand, sales of the Escalade have fallen in recent years, so there may be less of a market for stolen Escalades or Escalade parts."
Ford, meanwhile, contends that it is also taking steps to reduce thefts with new technologies.
Nonetheless, the F-250 had a claim frequency of nearly six times the average for all vehicles sold in the U.S., or seven per 1,000 insured vehicle years, according to HLDI. That's the equivalent of having seven vehicles stolen out of every 1,000 over the course of a year.
In terms of the average loss payment per theft claim, the F-250 came in at $7,060, second only to the F-350 at $7,517 among the 10 most stolen vehicles.
Then again, the average payment came to $13,803, HLDI reports, for the Audi A4 sedan. But insurance companies don't pay out very often on that model, which had the third lowest theft rate according to the new study.
The bottom five include:
- The Dodge Journey 4WD, at just 0.4 thefts per 1,000 insured vehicle years;
- The Volkswagen Tiguan 4WD, also at 0.4 thefts;
- The Audi A4 sedan, at 0.4 thefts;
- The Acura RDX, at 0.4 thefts; and
- The Toyota Matrix at 0.4 thefts.
To a large degree, the vehicles at the top of the theft chart are higher-volume vehicles that thieves find they can either sell whole or strip for parts — or those that make it easiest to access parts or content, a particular weakness with pickups. Those at the bottom of the list are either relatively unpopular products or lower-volume luxury models, such as the Audi A4. But there also are some more popular vehicles, like the Honda CR-V, ranked seventh from the bottom, that may benefit from improved antitheft technologies.
Automotive immobilizers, designed to prevent a vehicle from being hotwired, were standard in 89 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2012, the last of the three years covered by the latest theft study.
Nonetheless, a separate report released a week ago by the National Insurance Crime Bureau found that the national rate for car theft rose 1.3% in 2012, largely led by the western U.S. It was the first increase the NICB has reported in eight years.
The average theft rate for all vehicles, HLDI notes, was 1.2 per 1,000 insured vehicle years, and the typical claim payout came to $6,532.
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Why don't people still Chevy's, that's easy to see
THIS IS FORD COUNTRY ON A QUIT NIGHT YOU CAN HERE A CHEVY RUST
How are all those starving building tradesmen suppose to be expected to drive 20 year old pickups they can afford since the Congress and President tanked the economy? So the solution is to steal the tool from the bankers and loan sharks that have the money to drive them right? Wrong! I am willing to bet there is a relationship between supply and demand for these trucks.
Just saying that "those guys" driving a new pick up to mow your lawn are a little suspicious since these monsters cost over $40,000 grand new. These same individuals of course have a fake Social Security number to flash in your face to match the fake insurance cards in the new truck. Just asking how you expect change with over 11 million illegal immigrants? They already broke the law getting here what is stealing a truck to work construction or lawn service?