To you and me, all catalytic converters are pretty much the same, being there to clean exhaust gases from harmful chemicals. On the other hand, thieves have their favorites, and for many years, Toyota Prius and Tundra catalytic converters have topped all lists. If you’re wondering why, well, it’s because Toyota doesn’t skimp on materials, and thieves already know that Prius’ cat has some of the largest quantities of precious metals from all other makes and models. Of course, the criminals are not picky, but when presented with the choice, they will always prefer a Prius or a Tundra.
It’s a good thing that authorities are stepping in to try and curb theft. Recently, New York and California passed laws that would make it a lot harder for thieves to make money on stolen catalytic converters. On the other hand, car owners are trying to protect their vehicles using various methods and antitheft systems, although success is not guaranteed. Recently, carmakers also started to offer antitheft systems by partnering with third-party accessory makers.
Toyota is a good example, partnering with MillerCAT to offer catalyst converter shields on many Toyota and Lexus models. In the latest move, Toyota will even offer customers who buy the 2023 Toyota Prius the opportunity to specify a protective shield before ordering the car. They can do it when they configure a new car online or at the dealership. Either way, the shield can be installed at the dealership before the vehicle is delivered.
The so-called Cat Shield is custom-made from 5052-grade aluminum and is said to provide “a high level of protection.” It has a completely drill-less installation, so it will not affect the car’s body, and it comes with what Toyota calls a “tamper-proof screw kit.” We’re having a hard time imagining thieves trying to unscrew the thing instead of just cutting it, but we guess it’s good business to mention it in the specifications. The price for the Prius is $140, and it doesn’t include labor. Considering that a replacement catalytic converter costs upward of $1,000, it might prove a good investment.