Is Toyota’s 2023 Prius Hybrid Car Catalytic Converter Theft Appeal Gone?December 23, 2022
The popular model is undergoing considerable changes, including a change in the rare mineral amounts often stolen component.
UPDATED ARTICLE 4/26/23: With the rise of hybrid vehicles, especially the Toyota Prius, a type of crime has become out of hand: catalytic converter theft or commonly referred to as cat theft. Thieves have been targeting the catalytic converters in these cars for the valuable metals they contain. However, Toyota Prius Chief Engineer Satoki Oya feels that the newest generation of Prius may be less attractive to thieves due to the reduced amount of rare metals in the catalytic converter. While there may not be any noticeable changes to the car’s appearance, this could provide some relief to owners concerned about the potential for theft.
Prius models from 2004 through 2009 are among the biggest targets for that auto component’s theft.
Thefts of catalytic converters in Prius models are on the rise. According to Highway Loss Data Institute, the theft rate spiked by 40 times in 2020 compared to what it had been four years earlier. The theft of the part is associated with its high price tag, which is the result of the precious metals it contains.
Owners of 2023 Prius Hope to Reduce Cat Theft with Shield Option
Prius owners who are worried about their car’s catalytic converter being stolen may want to consider investing in a catalytic converter shield. Although official studies have not proven its efficacy, the steel cover mounted around the converter makes it more difficult for thieves to cut through, which might make them hesitate and increase their risk of being caught. The 2023 Prius does not come equipped with a built-in converter shield, but MillerCAT offers custom-designed shields for purchase at $140, along with installation costs. Since the cost of replacing a converter is high and the Prius is a favored target among thieves, investing in a shield could be a wise decision.
It will also have a larger engine and improved, faster-charging batteries.
The 2023 Prius will be a 2.0 liter, compared to the 1.8-liter 2022 model. Moreover, that model will be paired to a new lithium-ion battery pack instead of the 2022 nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery.
The new battery will allow the hybrid car to charge more quickly and hold the charge longer.
Beyond faster and longer lasting charge, the new Prius battery will also improve its performance across various changes in temperature. According to Toyota, the battery in the 2023 Prius is 14 percent more powerful than the NiMH battery in the 2022 model.
The body style of the vehicle has also undergone some considerable improvements, being wider with a lower roofline and larger wheels. It has a notable 60 percent more horsepower, 16 percent more torque, and rigidity reinforcements in the frame, improving the overall quality of the ride.
Toyota Prius Chief Engineer Satoki Oya said that the newest Prius hybrid car model will contain less of the rare metals as seen in the quantities seen in previous models. This has the potential to lower its appeal to thieves looking for parts that can be quickly stolen and unloaded for a hefty sum on the black market.