Catalytic converter theft

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 in 2019.

Police forces around the UK, including those in London, Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire, 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) 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 a central component within the car’s emissions control system. Located within the exhaust system close to the engine, it cleans gases from the combustion process before they are expelled from the car through the exhaust pipe. All cars sold in Europe since 1993 have had to be fitted with a 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 are sharing police guidance with customers and are seeking technical solutions, although for obvious reasons we would like to refrain from talking about specifics.

However, these are criminal operations and our scope in that regard is 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.

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.

Our reduced price for the installation of a new catalytic converter for the second-generation Lexus RX 400h is now £750 including VAT and fitting. Your nearest Lexus centre can advise on any additional repair 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 best way to protect or repair your car.

Comments (39)

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thanks for getting in touch with us. We can’t recommend unofficial Lexus products, however we are urgently looking into other technical possibilities. We would like to refrain from confirming specifics of this at this time.

      Thanks.

      1. My Catalytic Converter was stolen last night from my Rx400. Lexus must seriously do more to inform and have a solution to help us as owners/victims. Doing our bit for the environment isn’t helping us? No replacement part for weeks/months. Come on Lexus, what are you doing?

        1. Hi Julia,

          Thanks for getting in touch. We are extremely sorry you have been a victim of this crime. We will email you directly in order to put you in touch with our customer relations team.

          Thanks.

  1. Are there any locks you could fit to avoid further theft? Lexus has known about this problem for years and never did anything to inform car owners of the potential risk. This was never mentioned to me when I bought the car. Very disappointing!

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch. We are currently working on technical possibilities for our range of models. However, we can’t recommend unofficial Lexus products.

      We have only seen a major rise in this crime since summer this year, which may have been why it wasn’t mentioned to you.

      Thanks.

  2. Yes, I have a comment. With reference to an RX400h (2008).

    Given that you can’t get hold of a cat for two months (feedback from Sidcup, along with go elsewhere to get it sorted), we are left having to sort this out using after market parts. As much as your offer is a good response, we need cars on the road today, not in two months.

    What you could do to make it a bit easier for us, is to provide more details about what we have to source to get our cars on the road; that is, is it just a cat, or is it a cat and an o2 sensor. For example, we know that they cut either side of the cat leaving a gap of around 14 inches. Cats are easy to get hold of but there is a mix of commentary about whether there is an o2 sensor either just before or just after the cat that gets stolen at the same time – few of us know because few of us ever really looked under our cars. We all need to know this because it is pointless us buying after market cats if when we get them, there is some fault because an o2 sensor is needed.

    The best thing you could do is to provide a clear diagram showing the exhaust set-up along with parts (including an o2 sensors) so that we can compare the diagram to our own situation.

    If you could do that, given we need our cars on the road, I would appreciate it and so would many others.

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thanks for getting in touch with us. Our customer relations team will be best placed to help you further with this query. With this in mind we will email you directly in order to gain additional details so our team can best advise you on this.

      Thanks.

  3. Was there a suggested way forward with this? My Lexus RX400 has just been (for a way of putting it) de-catted and I’d like to know what most people have done and what Lexus are suggesting?
    Can I ask why platinum and paladium was used? With a bit of foresight, this was inevitable that scummy people would be doing this. Why not gold wing mirrors too?
    I’m fuming and whilst I totally cannot blame you for the thieving low lives doing this, Lexus should be accepting some responsibility for this as it is the equivalent of a design flaw. Maybe recalls for less “sought after” cats to be installed?

    1. Hi Dean,

      Thanks for getting in touch. We are incredibly sorry you have been a victim of this crime. We will email you directly in order to open a customer relations case on your behalf. Our team are working to support all our customers who have been impacted by this crime and are best placed to discuss your queries in more detail with you.

      Thanks.

  4. Our cat converter was stolen one month ago and we are very frustrated that Lexus hasn’t been helpful with our enquiry. They never get back to us despite their promises and we’re still waiting for the spare part (which they said it’s been ordered !) we have no car and are paying road tax and insurance. They don’t provide a curtesy car either. Very very disappointed.

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch. We are incredibly sorry you have been a victim of this crime. We will email you directly in order to gain additional details to help you further.

      Thanks.

  5. We ended up buying a cat from Catman. It is not a Lexus one but is legit and passes the emissions test. Because it doesn’t have all the stuff that the thieves want there is a good chance it won’t get stolen again. Total cost including fitting by local garage was £400.
    Lexus do it for £750 if you want authentic cat.
    We have not been able to find a cat lock to fit the Lexus 400 which is something I feel Lexus should look at doing.

  6. We also have the same problem where the catalytic converter was stolen. Now having to pay for a hire car and still no news as to when replacement cats will be available. Today heard from Lexus that it could be next year but no real help or advice

    1. Hi Naomi,

      Thanks for your message. We can only apologise for the distress that may have been caused from this. We will email you top gain additional details and put you in touch with our customer relations team.

      Thanks.

  7. Hi
    There is a problem with lexus rx450h?
    They still using expensive material to produce the catalyst?? Thank you
    Maryo

  8. My cat was stolen in broad daylight a couple of weeks ago (got them on cctv). According to my insurance company the spare part will not be here till mid-January at the earliest. My chief concern now is what I do once it has been replaced. Wait around till they come and take it away again (which they will, to be sure)? My car is effectively useless and possibly unsaleable (except to someone far away from London). So what can you advise us Lexus? BTW my local dealer hadn’t known about the £750 offer above and I had to email him the link! My car has been the most comfortable and reliable car I have ever owned in decades of driving and owning cars. I love it but am at a loss. Please help us.

    1. Hi Martin,

      Thanks for contacting us. We are so sorry your car has been targeted by criminals. We will email you directly in order to put you in touch with our customer relations team who will be able to support you further.

      Thanks.

  9. Just had our cat cut out in broad daylight at Aylesbury aqua vale swimming pool while taking our 2yr old granddaughter swimming. So so upsetting! We have a 2008 RX400h. Do the cats have a serial number stamped on them which I can add to the police report?
    How long is the delay in getting a replacement?
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Adrian,

      Thanks for getting in touch. We are so sorry for the distress this situation has caused you and your family. In order to answer your query, we will need to gain some additional details from you and put you in touch with our customer relations team who are working to support all our customer impacted by this crime. We will email you directly regarding this.

      Thanks.

  10. I have a 2008 RX 400h and I have had my catalytic converter stolen twice now, the second time the stole it within 4 days of it being returned to me by Lexus. Does anyone know how to stop these Son’s Of Bi*%H!@ what can I buy?

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for getting in touch. We are incredibly sorry you have been a victim of this crime. We will email you directly in order to put you in touch with our customer relations team who will be able to support you further.

      Thanks.

    2. This is terrible to read. I had mine stolen 2 weeks ago and if it gets repairs I will be selling the car immediately. Surely Lexus can come up with a way to prevent these thefts when the stolen part is replaced. I love my old Lexus but I will have to sell it as I cannot go through another theft.

  11. My cat was stolen between last night and early hours this morning! I took it to Lexus and was told to take it to a garage and get them to weld a pipe to dampen the noise. Oh and also said that they have no cats until February 2020 at a push and it will cost £700. I feel disappointed that these low lifes have stolen something that I feel will only be sold back to me (via Ebay or other party) at double the price! I am disturbed that the alarm did not go off! I managed to get it to a garage and they have done a temporary fix but again this has cost me as not even the garage could order any cats because they are in such demand.

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for contacting us. We are incredibly sorry you have been a victim of this crime and for the distress this may have caused. We will email you directly in order to gain additional details and open customer relations case on your behalf.

      Thanks.

  12. My Cat has been removed today. Car has been parked on my driveway .Hope Lexus will rush with help. But currently I could not see any solution than have custom build lock

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for contacting us. We are so sorry you have been a victim of this crime. We will email you directly in order to discuss your situation further and put you in touch with our customer relations team.

      Thanks.

  13. My 2009 Lexus RX400H had its cat convertor stolen on 13/09/19. As of 12/11/19, I am still waiting on the garage used by my insurance company to source a replacement. Can you let me know what my options are regarding sourcing a replacement cat convertor are and protecting it from another theft ?

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch with us about this situation. We are so sorry to hear about this and we will contact you directly in order to put you in touch with our customer relations team.

      Thanks.

  14. Hi, Just had the catalytic converter stolen from my RX400. There is a 2 month wait for a Lexus part or a 10 day wait for a non-genuine part. Luckily I have a courtesy car through my car insurance but I am not sure about which option to take as I am not an expert on catalytic converters! Can you please advise what you would recommend

    Appreciate the help
    Chris

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thanks for getting in touch with us. We are so sorry you have been a victim of this crime. Our customer relations team will be able to support you further with this and we will contact you directly regarding this.

      Thanks.

  15. I too had my catalytic converter stolen 2 weeks ago. I asked a question about which makes of Lexus RX hybrid that are not vulnerable to these thefts. I have not had a response. So much for customer service. May be I am better off looking elsewhere for a replacement car. My RX IS 2007. I await a response please.

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch with us. We are so sorry you have been a victim of this crime, and we are also sorry if you haven’t been responded to. Regarding your question, in theory any car with a catalytic converter is at risk of theft.

      Our customer relations team are working to support all our customers who have been impacted by this and with that in mind we will email you directly in order to open a case on your behalf.

      Thanks.

  16. I have an RX400h 2006 and the Catalytic Converter was stolen at the end of last month. Luckily, as a good will gesture my insurance have covered the cost of a replacement, but as of today’s date I am driving a hire car. In all honesty, i dont really want the Lexus back now as I’m 100% certain that it’s going to get stolen again! It’s giving me anxiety just thinking about the prospect. My husband had parked it outside my daughters gymnastics club – only to find that when they returned that the Cat had been stolen. Those thieving monsters left my husband and young daughter stranded!
    Little did they know thought that the gym had security camera’s and caught them on camera 🙂

    I just spoke to the repair garage and asked them to replace it with a catalytic converter that doesn’t contain the desired metals and they told me that the insurance company wont reimburse them for the cost and that the best that they can advise is for me to call Lexus so that they can supply a lockable cover – but after reading the comments above, I can see that that is obviously not true.

    If Lexus could please contact me to let me know what alternative there is available to the lockable cover i would really appreciate it.

    Many thanks

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch. We are incredibly sorry you have been a victim of this crime and for the distress this may have caused your family. We will email you directly in order to put you in touch with our customer relations team who will be best placed to help with your queries.

      Thanks.

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