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Honda Civics again at top of Canada’s Top Ten Stolen Vehicles list: List illustrates new trends in organized auto theft

December 19 , 2007

Toronto – Canada’s car insurers announced today that the 1999 and 2000 Honda Civic SiR 2-door have topped the list of the most frequently stolen vehicles for the third year in a row. These two models also appear in the list of highest theft claims costs per vehicle, as number three and number five, respectively. The 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX/WRX STi 4-door all-wheel-drive comes in third place on the most frequently stolen list, and “wins” the number one spot on the highest theft claims costs list.

The Top Ten Stolen Vehicles are:

  1. 1999 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
  2. 2000 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
  3. 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX/WRX STi 4-door AWD
  4. 1999 Acura Integra 2-door
  5. 1994 Dodge/Plymouth Grand Caravan/Voyager
  6. 1994 Dodge/Plymouth Grand Caravan/Voyager AWD
  7. 1994 Dodge/Plymouth Caravan/Voyager
  8. 1998 Acura Integra 2-door
  9. 2000 Audi TT Quattro 2-door Coupe
  10. 1994 Dodge/Plymouth Shadow/Sundance 2-door Hatchback

As in previous years, none of the top ten on the most frequently stolen list had an electronic immobilizer meeting the National Standard of Canada (ULC-S338/98).  Immobilizers meeting this standard cut three vital circuits – the starter, the ignition and the fuel. On September 1, 2007, a new federal regulation took effect requiring Canadian manufacturers to equip all new cars, vans, light trucks and SUVs with electronic immobilizers.

“We all know that immobilizers are effective at reducing auto theft. Their effectiveness has been backed up by numbers year after year,” said Rick Dubin, Vice-President, Investigations, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “Honda Civics are a good example. Newer year models in which Honda did install immobilizers meeting the National Standard of Canada appear much lower on the list.”

IBC investigations and the recovery of stolen vehicles over the past few years illustrate an alarming trend that is becoming all-too prevalent in Canada. Organized auto theft rings are targeting high-end or desirable vehicles with the intention of exporting them overseas or chopping them for parts.

In that regard, the 2007 list shows three 2001 Audi Quattro models appearing in the top 30 most frequently stolen vehicles

“These models have moved up an average of 26 spots from their positions in the 2006 list, showing that the relative demand for these high-end, desirable models is increasing,” said Dubin.

Also increasing in frequency are thefts of newer 4-wheel drive vehicles. IBC investigators have observed that these utility vehicles are often exported to countries with rough terrain, such as those in the Middle East and Africa.

Dubin said, “IBC has been very successful in repatriating many of these high-end stolen vehicles from overseas, but more needs to be done to prevent Canadian vehicles from being stolen and exported in the first place.”

Recognizing that auto theft is a serious and violent crime, IBC is urging the federal government to pass Bill C-343, which would act as a deterrent by making auto theft a separate offence under the Criminal Code. IBC also continues to advocate partnerships with local law enforcement and a dedicated presence of Canada Border Services Agency and IBC at key Canadian ports to help stop stolen vehicles from leaving the country.

“Auto theft costs Canadians more than $1 billion a year and all too often leads to the serious injury and/or deaths of innocent Canadians. This is not just a property crime. It is a safety and security issue for all Canadians. Auto theft has been shown to support organized crime and is believed to fund terrorism,” said Dubin.

The Least Stolen Vehicles were:

  1. (tie) 2003 Buick Le Sabre 4-door
  2. (tie) 2003 Cadillac Deville 4-door
  3. (tie) 2002 Ford/Mercury Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis 4-door
  4. (tie) 2000 Saturn SW1 Wagon
  5. (tie) 2000 Lincoln Continental 4-door
  6. (tie) 2000 Volvo S70 4-door
  7. (tie) 1998 Hyundai Accent 4-door
  8. (tie) 1997 Buick Regal 4-door
  9. (tie) 1996 Buick Park Avenue 4-door
  10. 2001 Toyota Highlander 4-door 2WD

The data on stolen vehicle frequency is based wholly on actual insurance claims information collected from companies that write almost 100% of all automobile insurance in Canada. This data can be found in the 2007 release of IBC’s “How Cars Measure Up,” which compares the insurance claims records of the most popular models of cars, passenger vans, SUVs and pickup trucks across the country. Consumers can also access information on the best and worst models according to collision, comprehensive and theft claims cost experience. This information can be extremely useful to consumers before they actually buy either a new or used car. “How Cars Measure Up” is designed to help consumers understand how theft, collision and other claims costs affect insurance premiums. For more information, visit IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca and click on “How Cars Measure Up” under “Quick Links.”

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the property and casualty insurance industry. Its member companies provide nearly 95% of the private home, car and business insurance sold in Canada.

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For more information or to arrange an interview with Rick Dubin, Vice-President, Investigations, IBC, please contact: Ellen Woodger at 416-483-2358 or James Geuzebroek at 416-362-2031, x4364.

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