Why is the Honda Accord the most stolen vehicle in the country, year after year?
According to tracking and recovery company LoJack and the National Insurance Crime Bureau, an organization supported by insurance companies, the Honda Accord has topped the list of most popular with thieves for the last several years.
LoJack recently released a list of the top 10 most stolen and recovered LoJack-equipped vehicle models in 2013, which was topped by the Honda Accord for the fifth year in a row.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released a similar report last August analyzing stolen cars, insured or not, in 2012 through the National Crime Information Center, the country's central database for reported crimes. That report also indicated the Honda Accord was the most stolen car for the fifth year in a row.
In NICB's list, the 1996 Accord was the most stolen make and model, with 8,637 thefts.
Frank Scafidi, director of public affairs for the NICB, said the organization's list and that of LoJack were like comparing "peaches and grapes," but he was not surprised at LoJack's stolen car rankings.
Honda Accords "are very popular cars. Those things tend to be stolen anyway," Scafidi said, adding that it's unclear how many Honda Accords are on the road.
"Year after year, the Honda Accord continues to be a top seller at car dealerships throughout the United States for a variety of reasons, including their reliability," said Patrick Clancy, the vice president of law enforcement for LoJack Corporation. "That means year after year there are more Accords on the road, getting into car accidents or needing parts for repair."
Because car parts are often interchangeable over multiple model years, thieves can get up to three times the value of the vehicle if they sell it for parts, Clancy said.
"All of these factors result in an increased demand for parts to service Accords, which makes stealing this make and model a very lucrative business for the professional thief," he said.
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Chris Naughton, a spokesman for Honda, said in a statement, "While we cannot completely account for criminal behavior, it is important to note that the Accord has been one of the most popular vehicles in the U.S. for over 30 years, and in 2013 it was the best-selling new car to individual American buyers. Quality, reliability and durability are hallmarks of the Honda brand, and more Honda vehicles sold in the last 25 years are still on the road than any other brand."
Naughton from Honda said it is not clear how many total units are on the road, but the company has built over 10 million Accords in Marysville, Ohio, over the last 30 years.
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Naughton added that the company continues to equip its new vehicles with the "latest security devices," including the Immobilizer Theft-Deterrent System, which prevents a car's engine from starting without a properly encoded key.
Here's LoJack's list of most stolen cars that have its security system:
1. Honda Accord
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Camry
4. Toyota Corolla
5. Chevy Silverado
6. Acura Integra
7. Cadillac Escalade
8. Ford F350
9. Nissan Altima
10. Chevy Tahoe