17 MAY 2021
© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.
Toyota (GB) is spending more than £1m to covertly mark more than 100,000 parts on older cars which could be the target of catalytic converter theft, to help police arrest and charge criminals. The service is free to owners.
The theft of catalytic converters has grown hugely in recent years thanks to the significant rise in the price of some precious metals inside the devices, which are used to clean exhaust gases and reduce pollution.
Many manufacturers are affected by what police call “a co-ordinated, organised crime linked to other serious forms of offending.”
In more modern Toyota and Lexus cars the catalysts are of a different design and are not typically targets for theft as a result.
Toyota is offering the Smartwater marking free to all Toyota and Lexus owners, who simply need to call their local Toyota or Lexus retailer to arrange a visit.
Rob Giles, Toyota (GB) Director of Customer Services, said: “Catalytic converter theft is a very serious problem in the UK and the effects on victims of this crime are emotional as well as financial. We’re pleased to be starting this initiative, working closely with the police, not only to help them with their efforts to combat this crime but also to send a clear message to criminals that if they choose to target a Toyota or Lexus car there is now a far higher chance of getting caught.”
Toyota also hopes that the marking programme will dissuade rogue scrap metal dealers who are happy to pay cash for stolen converters, now that the risk of being caught is greater than ever before.
Giles added: “We know from our work with police and others that the solution to this crime is not only arresting those doing the stealing, but also making life harder for those buying the stolen goods. We hope this will help in that.”
Please note your editor-in-chief was a victim of catalytic converter theft and reported it to Graeme Paton, Transport Correspondent The Times (see BTN 23 November 2020).
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