It's not the accolade and track record manufacturers strive for, but once again the Cadillac Escalade tops the charts as the most frequently stolen vehicle in the U.S.
The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), tracking insurance claims for vehicle thefts, found that for all 2008-2011 model year vehicles, the Escalade is reported stolen to insurance companies at a rate that's 10 times the average vehicle. For every 1,000 vehicles, the SUV racks up 10.8 theft insurance claims. On the other side of the scale, the Lexus RX 350 is reported to agencies only 0.6 times per 1,000 vehicles.
As we reported last year, it's not a lack of theft-deterrent systems that makes the Escalade popular with thieves. The vehicle is equipped with immobilizer technology that requires an encoded key to start the engine and laminated windows with a sheet of vinyl between two layers of glass, which are difficult to shatter. For the 2012 model, Cadillac added an optional wheel lock system to help prevent the theft of an Escalade's wheels and tires, and improved its steering column lock system, which, according to Cadillac, makes it nearly impossible to maneuver the Escalade onto a flatbed tow vehicle.
Other popular stolen vehicles on the list include large trucks and SUVs. In fact, the Chrysler 300 HEMI is the only vehicle on the list that isn't a truck or SUV.
Highest claim rates for 2008-2010 passenger vehicles
- Cadillac Escalade (4 versions)
- Ford F-250 crew 4WD
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew
- Ford F-450 crew 4WD
- GMC Sierra 1500
- Chrysler 300
- Ford F-350
- Chevrolet Avalanche
- GMC Yukon
- Chrysler 300 HEMI