A car is stolen every 44 seconds; only 52% recovered

A car is stolen every 44 seconds; only 52% recovered

Even with the spread of ignition immobilizers, a motor vehicle is stolen every 44 seconds in the United States. Only 52 percent are recovered. And as many as half the thefts are caused by driver error. With July and August the biggest months for car theft, dealers should be sure to secure their inventory. July is National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month.

The figures were released last week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 10 most stolen vehicles, NHTSA says, are the Dodge Charger, Pontiac G6, Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler 300, Infiniti FX35, Mitsubishi Galant, Chrysler Sebring, Lexus SC, Dodge Avenger and Kia Rio.

The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), which bases its ranking on insurance claims, came out with a different list, composed entirely of large pickups and SUVs. Thats partly because HLDIs data doesnt distinguish theft of vehicle contents or components from theft of a whole vehicle, and many pickup claims result from the theft of equipment from the truck bed. The Institutes top insurance theft claims were for the Ford F-250 crew 4WD, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew and Chevrolet Avalanche 1500.

Theft rates are declining overall, says HLDI, largely because of the increase in ignition immobilizers. Fewer pickups than cars or SUVs have them as standard equipment, although the F-250 does.

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