Lexus

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 (342)

  1. What a terrible situation to be in . Insurance are unable to provide a coutesey car because they missed it off the quote. The Lexus garage don’t have a date for parts arriving. Poor design placing a Catalytic convertor in the exhaust . You would think that Lexus would help its cutsomers but they seem oblivinat to the whole process. In the meantime you are paying for a car that’s not even being used.

    1. Hello Dan,
      Thank you for getting in contact. We are so sorry to hear that your vehicle has been targeted by thieves.
      Should you wish to discuss your situation in greater detail, we would recommend contacting our Customer Relations team, who are best placed to offer further support and advice.
      They can be contacted here: https://www.lexus.co.uk/forms/customer-relations-contact-us?enquiry_type=general
      We are truly sorry for any distress caused by this terrible crime.
      Thanks.

    2. I will be contacting you .
      Its important for Lexus to listen to its customers .
      Designing an external Catalytic Convertor means that they easily rip it out .
      Sadly the customers will pay for the damage through their insurance . Lexus will just blame it on supplier issues but this issue has been going on for some time. Nobody in their right mind would take out a financial agreement and not have use of the car . In terms of the brand all these models should be recalled and the customers compensated for their loss.

        1. Hello David,
          Thank you for getting in touch.
          We have reduced the precious metal content of the catalytic converters in our newer hybrids, making them less attractive to thieves.
          Thanks.

        2. Lexus I don’t think fitting a Cat Lock is the answer it just takes them a little longer to break in.
          Please address this issue seriously it is a matter of health and safety if someone is face with these tooled up thieves.
          By ignoring our complaints like this it it doing harm to your customer relations .Simply “Not Amazing”.

          1. Hello Dan,
            We are certainly taking all complaints from our customers seriously.
            Our Customer Relations team are best placed to discuss your situation further with you, so we would suggest contacting them should you wish to raise this.
            Thanks.

    3. I have the same experience the links go nowhere there was no reply . I tried to call the finance people and they don’t answer or cut you off after a long time . It seems they can blame covid for anything .

      1. Hello Dan,
        We apologise that you have had difficulties in contacting us.
        The link that was sent to you in our previous reply leads to the ‘Contact Us’ page, and we have checked that this is indeed a working link.
        By filling out this form, you will be able to contact our Customer Relations team.
        We have relinked the form here: https://www.lexus.co.uk/forms/customer-relations-contact-us?enquiry_type=general
        Should you wish to contact our team by phone, you can do so using this number: 0345 129 5484
        Thanks.

  2. CT200H owner. Catalytic converter nicked yesterday 14/11/20. same old story. Front grill smacked and converter ripped out. Sainsbury’s car park Woodford. No CCTV. Uggh

    1. If you send a link to Lexus make sure it goes to someone who is taking action – not just a page of inappropriate links

      1. Hello Douglas,
        The Lexus links provided either go straight to our Customer Relations form or to the Concierge Tool, through which the form can be accessed.
        Thanks.

  3. Hello. Mine was stolen 2 days ago at 9pm in front of me and some neighbours that went out. The thieves with masks and a bat in ones hand did not care about me calling the police, my neighbours as witnesses or the alarm going off. There were 3 cats in their car boot, stolen the same evening in my area. They also had cloned number plates, so that doesn’t help the police. They left in around 2 minutes leaving me with in shock, a big expense waiting for me, £350 excess , raise in my insurance premium and who knows how much a cat lock is going to cost me too. Also the stress and time to organise repairs and getting a car to be able to go to work.
    After seeing all the comments above, I am shoked to see how much it happens and how little is being done to prevent this.
    Why is Lexus still selling these unsafe cars and why are we not informed of this risk before we invest our hard earned money?
    If this is a known risk why are the cats not secured before they are sold?
    If Lexus is not making a profit, wouldn’t it be better for them to just secure them to prevent?
    And most of us victims are supposed to pay for all this only to be robbed again?
    It happens anywhere and anytime, we are not save at all. I am so disappointed.

    1. Hello Violeta,
      Thank you for contacting us. We are so sorry to hear that you have been a victim of this horrible crime and appreciate the distress this must have caused.
      We have taken action to raise awareness of the issue, engaging with local MPs, the Home Office, Met Police and the National Lead for Vehicle Crime to identify issues with existing legislation.
      We have also tried to ensure as many of our customers as possible are aware through publishing police advice on this crime as soon as possible online, writing to our dealer network to brief customers and even directly to owners of a number of our vehicles where we had details to do so.
      We have produced CatLocs for vehicles most at risk of theft, and these are supplied at zero profit to Leuxs UK.
      If you wish to discuss your specific situation in further detail, we would recommend contacting our customer relations team, who are best place to offer advice and support.
      They can be reached here: https://www.lexus.co.uk/concierge-tool/contact-us/
      Once again, we are truly sorry that your vehicle has been targeted by thieves.
      Thanks.

    2. It’s a shame no law has been put up to discourage the sales of these stolen metals for cash it should be a criminal offence buying or selling these metals that everybody knows where they coming from a poor car owner who’s been left in there to pay the bills for who’s wrong of course not theirs …
      And Lexus can definitely put up some sort of protective clamp to make sure the thieves stealing it is not a walk in the park.

      1. Hello Mahin,
        Thank you for your comment. We know how upsetting this crime can be, and are really sorry that you have fallen victim to these criminals.
        We do produce CatLocs for vehicles considered most at risk to try and protect customers from further attacks, and these are supplied at zero profit to Lexus UK.
        However, we’re sure you’ll appreciate that criminals with high-grade power tools are very determined and can be difficult to completely stop.
        If you would like to raise your situation further, our Customer Relations team are best placed to offer advice and support.
        They can be contacted here: https://www.lexus.co.uk/forms/customer-relations-contact-us?enquiry_type=general
        Again, we are so sorry that your car has been targeted by criminals.
        Thanks.

  4. Hi
    I am due to purchase a GS300h (either 2016 model or a 2018 model).
    What is the likelihood that I might be at risk of CatConverter thieves?

    1. Hello T,
      Thank you for your comment.
      We produce CatLocs for vehicles currently deemed as high-risk targets, this being the 2005-2009 RX 400h and the CT200h.
      Whilst the later models have catalytic converters which feature a lower percentage of precious metals, we cannot make guarantees as to whether a vehicle will or will not become a target for these brazen thieves.
      Thanks.

    2. Hi I have a brand new RX can I fit anything to cover the catalytic converter to add extra protection from thieves ?

      1. Hello Debbie,
        Thank you for contacting us, and congratulations on your new vehicle.
        There is no official Lexus CatLoc for this model as we currently only produce them for vehicles targeted by thieves.
        Thanks.

  5. Hi
    I have been a victim now as my Ct200h catalytic counter stolen last night on 30th Oct. 20.
    They cut my front grill and reaped up my bottom
    cover of converter. I tried to contact Lexus LexusTwikenham and they are quoting me £2000 for repair.
    Is this correct Price?

    1. Hello Mario,
      Thank you for contacting us. We are so sorry to hear this.
      Prices tend to be higher closer to the capital as there is a higher number of at target vehicles in this area.
      You are welcome to visit an alternative Lexus centre for a different quote.
      Thanks.

  6. I agree with all the people on here. If we are paying so much for the car, why are we not advised at the point of sale where we are paying thousands that another £250 for catloc is throughly recommend! We were sold from the Woodford branch and we would have happily paid the extra £250, instead of being a victim of this heinous crime, where the police nor Radisson hotel in West Drayton ( where it was stolen from ) are able to assist.

    Another question I have is the design of these cars. Why are the Cats exposed on the underside and not protected from within!

    Thanks
    Heartbroken person

    1. Hello Nina,
      Thank you for contacting us. We are so sorry to hear that you have been affected by this crime.
      If you would like to discuss your specific situation further, we would recommend contacting our customer relations team.
      They are best placed to offer any necessary support, and they can be contacted, here: https://www.lexus.co.uk/concierge-tool/contact-us/
      Once again, we are truly sorry to hear that your vehicle has been targeted by thieves.
      Thanks.

  7. Hi I have an NX200 bought new in 2020. Is its Catalytic Convertor likely to be targeted – and if so is there a Catloc for this Model yet please ?

    1. Hello John,
      Thank you for contacting us, and congratulations on your new NX. We hope you are enjoying it so far.
      The focus of this crime remains upon older vehicles, and this is due to the higher percentage of precious metals in the catalytic converter.
      Newer vehicles, such as your NX, feature a significantly lesser proportion of such metals and are therefore less attractive to these thieves.
      CatLocs are available for current high-risk vehicles, and this does not include the latest NX.
      Thanks.

  8. Luckly, yesterday day evning(23/10/2020) they try to steal I think the catalyst converter from my Lexus CT 200h 2012model, I caught them when I heard them while they start to rip the front grills
    I call this moring my local dealer to replace the grills and still waiting to confrim the time

    I hope they will not charge me arms and leg for the grills and for We have taken action to produce CatLocs for vehicles most at risk, and there is one available for the CT.

  9. Unfortunately my catalyst converter has been stolen today from my Lexus CT 200h 2019model
    as per Lexus comment above you can provide Catloc system especially for CT where I can order that ?what’s the price? And why you r not advising your customers to get one at the point of sale or fit them generally if you know that is the common issue?

    1. Hello Michael,
      Thank you for contacting us. We’re extremely sorry to hear that you have been affected by this crime.
      We have produced a CatLoc for the CT, and the price of this is £250. We would recommend contacting your nearest Lexus centre to order this.
      You can find your nearest centre, here: https://www.lexus.co.uk/forms/find-a-centre
      Should you wish to discuss your situation further, our customer relations team are best placed to offer any necessary support and advice.
      You can find their contact details, here: https://www.lexus.co.uk/concierge-tool/contact-us/
      Once again, we are truly sorry that your vehicle has been targeted by criminals.
      Thanks.

  10. 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.
    Thanks

    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: https://www.lexus.co.uk/concierge-tool/contact-us/
      Once again, we are truly sorry that you have been a victim of this crime.
      Thanks.

  11. 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.

    Thanks.

  12. 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: https://usedcars.lexus.co.uk/en/dealer-locator
      Thanks.

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