A new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute concludes that the Cadilac Escalade is the most likely vehicle for theft. The study, based on insurance claims made for model year 2008 through 2010 vehicles, showed that the Escalade is six times more likely to be hit by thieves than the average vehicle, and its overall theft losses are more than 10 times as large.
The rankings are based on vehicles that were stolen, had parts such as stereo systems taken or had other property inside the car snatched.Matt Moore, a vice president at the institute, says the Escalade is usually targeted because “It’s so wildly popular as far as pop culture goes. Watching the TV you see professional athletes coming in and out of them and other celebrities too. It’s a status symbol.”
General Motors Co. said it’s trying to make the Escalade harder to steal. The SUV currently includes a system to prevent the vehicles from being hotwired and a steering column lock that makes it more difficult for thieves to push the vehicles away or load them on to flat-bed trucks.
In addition, the 2012 Escalade will include sensors that set off an alarm when they detect a change in angle that would occur if the vehicle is being towed or being jacked up, along with sensors that sound alarms when windows are broken, a new wheel lock system and an improved steering column lock, GM said.
Pickup trucks are also a favorite of thieves, taking the next four spots in the rankings, including the Ford F-250 crew cab four-wheel drive, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab, the Ford F-450 crew cab four-wheel drive and the GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab.
The vehicle least likely to be hit by thieves was the Audi A6 four-wheel drive, a luxury sedan. But its average loss payment per claim was $16,882. That’s 60 percent higher than that of the Escalade, according to the study.
The A6 was followed by the Mercury Mariner, a small SUV, and the Chevrolet Equinox, a midsize SUV.
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