NHTSA Releases Car Theft Lists

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(Courtesy of The Detroit News)

Audi S8 has highest rate, but Camry leads in sheer numbers

Washington —The Audi S8 topped the government’s list of highest theft rates among new cars in 2009. And the Toyota Camry, which was 2009′s best-selling car, was the most-stolen new car that year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tracked the theft rate among all new 2009 passenger vehicles stolen in 2009, and just released its report.

The Audi S8 had the highest theft rate: 8.81 thefts per 1,000 vehicles produced. Just two out of 227 cars produced were stolen.

Ford Motor Co.’s Shelby GT Mustang had the second highest theft rate with 8.61 vehicles per 1,000 stolen; five out of 581 total cars were stolen.

Rounding out the top five: BMW M5 (7.58 per 1,000), Dodge Charger (6.47 per 1,000) and Honda S2000 (5.60 per 1,000).

In sixth was the Mitsubishi Galant (5.11), followed by the Chrysler 300 (4.57), Infiniti M35/M45 (4.32), Cadillac STS (4.28) and Mercedes CL-Class (3.91).

The report doesn’t track light trucks, which include most SUVs, pickups and minivans. The Cadillac Escalade has typically topped the overall list of most-stolen vehicles, according to surveys.

NHTSA said the overall theft rate declined to 1.33 per 1,000. It was down 21.3 percent from 2008′s 1.69 per 1,000. “The agency believes that the theft rate reduction could be the result of several factors including the increased use of standard antitheft devices, vehicle parts marking, increased and improved prosecution efforts by law enforcement organizations and increased public awareness,” NHTSA said.

Chrysler had seven vehicles in the top 20 theft rates. In addition to the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, the carmaker’s offerings in the top 20 included Chrysler’s Sebring, Sebring Convertible and PT Cruiser, and the Dodge Avenger and Dodge Caliber.

GM had four vehicles in the top 20. In addition to the Cadillac STS, the list included the Pontiac G5 and G6 and Chevrolet Impala.

The Toyota Camry, which was 2009′s best-selling car, was the most-stolen vehicle in overall numbers at 781, but it ranked 50th with a 1.74 per 1,000 theft rate, followed by the Toyota Corolla at 51st with 632 stolen.

The lowest theft rate among new cars that had at least one theft? The now-discontinued Mercury Mariner with a 0.08 per 1,000 theft rate, or two out of 25,682.

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