Catalytic converter theft: what you need to know

The theft of catalytic converters from cars isn’t a new crime, but it has increased significantly since 2019.

Police forces around the UK, including those in West Yorkshire, London and Nottinghamshire, are advising owners of any car fitted with a catalytic converter to take precautions.

Any car fitted with a catalytic converter within the exhaust system could be at risk. In the case of Lexus, we are aware that second-generation Lexus RX 400h models (2005-2008) and the Lexus CT 200h have been a target for thieves.

Below we’ve gathered the best advice for Lexus owners who may be concerned.

What is a catalytic converter? 

The catalytic converter is part of the car’s emissions control system. It cleans up the exhaust gases before they are expelled from the car through the exhaust pipe. Its internal elements react with the gases, breaking them down into less harmful substances and water vapour. All cars sold in Europe since 1993 have had to be fitted with catalytic converter by law.

Why are they a target for thieves?

The police are best placed to offer advice on the motivation behind crimes. But we understand that the recycling value of catalytic converters is the primary attraction to thieves because it contains precious metals such as rhodium, platinum and palladium.

What is Lexus doing to stop its cars being targeted?

We’re doing all we can. We’ve shared police guidance with customers, and are seeking technical solutions, although for obvious reasons we would like to refrain from talking about specifics.

We are also working with the police, as well as talking to government about changes in the law around scrap metal sales that would make it harder for criminals to sell stolen catalysts for cash.

However, these are criminal operations and our scope is therefore limited. A number of police forces are taking action and some forces, such as Nottinghamshire, are also starting awareness campaigns. It is vitally important for anyone who is a victim of this crime to report it to their local police force as quickly as possible.

In the main it remains older cars that are targeted because advances in efficiency and technology mean the latest generations of Toyota catalytic converters contain vastly lower amounts of precious metals, whilst still doing their job just as well or even better; this means their value for recycling is very low and they are not attractive to thieves.

How much does it cost to replace a catalytic converter?

Our priority is to do all we can to support Lexus customers who have been the victims of catalytic converter theft.

We have reduced the prices of catalytic converters to a level where Lexus UK does not make any profit from their supply to customers.

Your nearest Lexus centre can advise on exact costs after inspecting your vehicle.

How long will I have to wait for replacement parts?

The rapid rise in this crime is one we could not have envisaged set against many years of low incidence of thefts. It has impacted our ability to source a sufficient quantity of replacement parts, for which we sincerely apologise.

However, we are taking urgent action with our suppliers to secure increased supplies, which we hope will allow us to effectively tackle the supply issue and repair customers’ cars more quickly.

Who can I contact if I’m worried about my Lexus?

We recommend using our locator tool to find your nearest Lexus centre and contact them to discuss the next steps for your car.

This article was last updated on 2 December 2019, so some of the responses to reader comments below have been superseded by more recent information.

Comments (309)

  1. Hi , My Lexus CT200 catalytic converter has been stolen yesterday (22 September 2020) which is absolutely heartbreaking. I wish the dealer could fix this as free of charge as no advance warning has been given. Also, in LEXUS website it only states that Lexus RX400 H model only has been targeted for thieves. Please kindly advise how I can sort out this problem within a reasonable price.

    1. Hi Abdul,
      Thanks for getting in touch. We’re extremely sorry to hear that your vehicle has been targeted by thieves and completely understand the distress that you are experiencing.
      We have taken action to produce CatLocs for vehicles most at risk, and there is one available for the CT.
      Lexus UK does not make profit off either these CatLocs or replacement catalytic converter parts.
      If you would like to discuss your situation further, we would recommend contacting our Lexus customer relations team.
      They are best placed to offer any necessary support and can be contacted, here:
      Once again, we are truly sorry that you have been a victim of this crime.

  2. Hi!
    I, too, have my catalytic converter stolen in the night of 20-21 September whilst parked in a public car park.
    This is very disconcerting to find oneself victim of such a criminal theft.
    I will be contacting Lexus to take the next step. My reg is RO08 WFG.
    This issue must DVLA notifying Lexus drivers for awareness as soon the car is taxed.


  3. I had my cat stolen yesterday in a public car park. I own a 57plate rx400h
    Please tell me what I should be paying to have it replaced by lexus please. DON’T give me your altermated reply saying to contact my local dealer! Reading this forum, there are many different prices, I want to have Lexus give me an official price reply please.

    1. Hi Sam,
      Thanks for your comment.
      We’re truly sorry to hear that you have been a victim of this crime and fully understand the frustration and concern that you are feeling.
      The reason for directing you to your nearest Lexus Centre to gain a quote for replacement is that the vehicle will need to be assessed to understand the damage caused and the extent of the labour required to fully rectify the problem, which can not always be foreseen.
      Lexus Centres are also able to fit a Catloc system which further protects the part and acts as a deterrent to thieves.
      You can find your nearest Lexus centre, here:

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