Are Toyota Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal

Don’t Let Thieves Steal Your Toyota’s Converter: Here’s What You Need to Know

If you know anything about automobile vehicles, then you’re definitely familiar with catalytic converters.

This part of the exhaust emissions system helps turn toxic chemicals produced during internal combustion into less harmful ones, making the vehicle better for the environment.

Unfortunately, catalytic converter theft has skyrocketed in recent years. They contain a high concentration of precious metals, which means they can be sold for high prices.

But which cars are most prone to theft? For example, are Toyota catalytic converters easy to steal?

Are Toyota Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal?

Sadly, many Toyota models are very susceptible to catalytic converter theft. According to many police and media reports, models like Toyota Prius and Toyota Tacoma are very commonly targeted by catalytic converter thieves.

Because of that, it’s very important to take various safety precautions to lower your risk of theft if you own a Toyota. Doing so can save you a lot of money since replacing a catalytic converter is very costly.

Why are Toyota catalytic converters easy to steal?

Driving Toyota

In general, catalytic converters contain precious metals such as platinum, rhodium, and palladium. These metals help in converting toxic substances into less harmful ones and can be sold for high prices.

This is the main reason why thieves target catalytic converters.

In most Toyotas, the catalytic converter is located underneath the vehicle, which is a very accessible location.

When it comes to larger models, such as SUVs, the car is higher off the ground, allowing thieves easier access and making stealing the catalytic converter a fairly easy task.

As a result, Toyotas are some of the most commonly targeted cars.

Do all Toyota vehicles have catalytic converters?

Toyota SUV

Most Toyota vehicles are fuel-powered. This means that they need the catalytic converter to turn harmful chemicals produced during internal combustion into less harmful ones, such as carbon dioxide and water vapor, for example.

So, all fuel-powered Toyota have catalytic converters.

Toyota also produces several hybrid models. These vehicles can be powered by fossil fuels, electricity, or both, depending on the model.

The catalytic converter in a hybrid vehicle contains more precious metals and a lower concentration of cheaper metals. This makes it a very common target for thieves since they can sell them for high prices.

So, if you own a hybrid car, be sure to take some extra safety measures.

The only automobile vehicles that aren’t equipped with a catalytic converter are all-electric vehicles.

As of right now, Toyota doesn’t manufacture an all-electric vehicle but plans to do so in the near future.

So, currently, all Toyota cars have catalytic converters.

Where is the catalytic converter located on a Toyota vehicle?

Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius

In most Toyota models, such as the Prius and Corolla, the catalytic converter is located underneath the car near the exhaust pipe. Unfortunately, this location makes removing and stealing it rather easy.

As a result, Toyotas are a common target for catalytic converter thieves since they don’t have to do too much work and can get a lot of money for selling them.

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

Car Dashboard Toyota

In general, all Toyota models are prone to catalytic converter theft due to the location of this part of the exhaust system.

In most Toyotas, the catalytic converter is right underneath the vehicles, which makes removing it an easy job for thieves.

But there are still models that are more at risk than others.

According to many reports, Toyota Prius is the number one car when it comes to catalytic converter theft.

Other Toyota models that are likely to be targeted include Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Tundra, as these are high off the ground, allowing for easy access to the catalytic converter.

Can you drive a Toyota without the catalytic converter?

Toyota Supra

Most vehicles can drive without the catalytic converter, and this includes all Toyota modes. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that driving without the catalytic converter isn’t good for your engine.

The catalytic converter is an integral component of the exhaust emission system. So, without it, the car won’t be as efficient as it used to be, and its performance might suffer.

In addition, driving a car without a catalytic converter is illegal in certain regions of the world, meaning you can get fined.

So, it’s important to report any theft and replace the catalytic converter as soon as possible.

How can you avoid Toyota catalytic converter theft?

Toyota Scion FR-S
Toyota Scion FR-S

Now that we’ve established that many Toyota models are at risk of catalytic converter theft, it’s a good idea to know how to lower your risk and protect yourself against this crime.

One of the best ways to ensure your car is safe is to park it in a private garage next to your house. This not only helps protect your vehicle but also lowers the risk of damage to the car as a whole.

If that’s not possible, try parking your car in a private garage structure that doesn’t allow unauthorized people to enter. Most theft happens when cars are parked on the street where there are no security cameras.

So, avoiding parking in such areas can be beneficial.

If you’re especially worried or live in an area where someone else had their catalytic converter stolen, you can purchase an anti-theft device.

These devices are attached directly to the converter itself and come with a hard wire that can’t be cut using traditional equipment purchased from a hardware store. So, investing in this device can deter thieves from your car.

So, if you own a Toyota, it’s a good idea to use some of these tips, especially since replacing the catalytic converter is very expensive.


As you can see, all Toyota owners should be particularly careful when it comes to the safety of their cars. The catalytic converter in a Toyota is located in a very accessible location, making stealing it an easy task for thieves.

Luckily, there are many ways you can lower your risk of theft and protect your vehicle. Doing so will also help you save a ton of money on replacing the stolen catalytic converter.

Sources: Toyota, Congressional Research Service, Science Direct, and MDPI

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