Are Lexus Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal

Are Lexus Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal? (Surprising?)

A catalytic converter is a part of the emission control system. It helps turn noxious substances created during internal combustion into less harmful ones, such as water vapor and carbon dioxide.

So, in short, the catalytic converter helps make fuel-powered cars more environmentally friendly.

Sadly, catalytic converters have become a common target for thieves since they contain precious metals that can be sold for high prices. But which car is most likely to have its catalytic converter stolen?

For example, are Lexus vehicles prone to catalytic converter theft?

Are Lexus Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal?

Unfortunately, Lexus catalytic converters are generally very easy to steal. Even though this brand produces luxury vehicles, it mainly deals in SUVs, which are high from the ground, allowing easy access for catalytic converter thieves.

On the bright side, there are several precautions you can take to lower your risk of catalytic converter theft. Just because you have a Lexus doesn’t mean you are doomed to struggle with this issue.

Why are Lexus catalytic converters hard to steal?

Lexus Car

A lot of Lexus cars are SUVs and crossovers. These types of vehicles are high off the ground, allowing thieves more space to remove the catalytic converter and steal it.

With that said, Lexus does make some vehicles that are lower to the ground, thus less likely to become a target for catalytic converter thieves.

But they’re still quite high on the list of cars that experience catalytic converter theft. That’s why it’s important to take some precautions if you own a Lexus vehicle.

Do all Lexus vehicles have catalytic converters?

White Lexus Sedan
White Lexus Sedan

Most vehicles produced by the Lexus brand are fuel-powered. As a result, they have catalytic converters that help offset the negative effects of internal combustion on our environment.

So, these cars are the targets for catalytic converter thieves.

In addition to fuel-powered vehicles, Lexus also manufactures hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric vehicles.

Both hybrids and plug-in hybrids have catalytic converters. That’s because these types of vehicles can be powered by an electric battery as well as fuel.

So, there’s still internal combustion happening in the engine. Thus, these cars need catalytic converters.

That’s not the case with fully electric vehicles, such as the RZ 450e. This vehicle is powered only by an electric battery.

This eliminates the need for a catalytic converter, as there’s no internal combustion happening.

As a result, all-electric vehicles aren’t targets for catalytic converter thieves, but hybrids are.

Where is the catalytic converter located on a Lexus vehicle?

Depending on the model and year of production, a Lexus vehicle might have up to three catalytic converters in its exhaust system. They’re usually located inside the engine compartment or on the underside of the vehicle.

If your Lexus has its catalytic converter on the underside of the vehicle, it’s more likely to be targeted by thieves. That’s because the catalytic converter is much easier to remove in this location.

Which Lexus model is more likely to have its catalytic converter stolen?

Lexus Interior

Lexus manufactures passenger vehicles, SUVs, crossovers, and sedans. Out of these, SUVs and crossovers tend to be the most common targets for catalytic converter thieves.

SUVs and crossovers are higher from the ground, allowing for easier access to the underbody of the vehicles where the catalytic converter is located. It makes stealing this part of the exhaust system easier for thieves.

Additionally, Lexus makes several hybrid vehicles.

Hybrids have a higher content of several precious metals since they don’t need to work as hard to remove toxins as fuel-powered vehicles.

As a result, catalytic converters from hybrids can be sold for a much higher price, making them one of the most common targets for thieves.

So, if you have any of these vehicles, keeping your car safe is important to avoid theft.

How do I know if I had my catalytic converter stolen?

Car Service

Even if you’re an expert in cars, it can sometimes be difficult to tell whether your car is missing a catalytic converter just by looking at it.

Luckily, there are some ways you can gauge if you had your catalytic converter stolen.

The first sign that something’s wrong is a loud noise when you start the car. Since the catalytic converter is an integral part of the exhaust emission system, its lack will definitely cause lots of disturbance.

What’s more, you might see a ‘check engine’ light pop up on your dashboard. Of course, this light can have various causes, but it’s important not to ignore it and have your car checked by a mechanic.

If your Lexus has had its catalytic converter stolen, you may also start smelling a foul odor from the engine and filling up the cabin. That’s because nothing is filtering the substances produced during internal combustion.

So, if you notice any of these signs, be sure to get your car serviced.

Can you drive a Lexus without a catalytic converter?

Like with any other car, it’s possible to drive a Lexus without a catalytic converter, but not for a long time.

Without this integral part of the exhaust emission system, your car will not function as efficiently as it should and will also be harmful to the environment.

In addition, driving without a catalytic converter is illegal in some areas of the world, so you can end up getting fined.

How can you avoid Lexus catalytic converter theft?


Avoiding catalytic converter theft from your Lexus is essential, especially if you own an SUV or a crossover since these vehicles are common targets.

One simple way to deter thieves from stealing your catalytic converter is to park your car in a private garage or a locked parking structure. This reduces the theft risk and keeps your car safe from damage.

If you’re particularly worried, you can invest in an anti-theft device for your catalytic converter. These devices are fitted directly on the catalytic converter, making theft much more difficult.


Lexus vehicles are common targets for catalytic converter thieves. This brand produces many cars high off the ground, allowing easier access to the catalytic converter. Also, Lexus makes hybrids, which are a popular choice for catalytic converter thieves.

So, make sure to take good care of your car and follow safety guidelines to avoid spending a fortune on replacing the catalytic converter.

Sources: Lexus, Consumer Reports, and Science Direct

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