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HEMI Charger among most stolen vehicles

August 3rd, 2010

The 2007-2009 Dodge Charger with the HEMI V8 is one of the hottest cars around, but that’s not always a good thing. It’s also a favorite with auto thieves, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Charger came in at No. 4 on the list, behind the Cadillac Escalade, 4WD Ford F-250 Crew Cab and Infiniti G37.

HLDI’s theft losses take into account not only the rate at which insurance claims are filed but also the size of the payments for claims. Most of the vehicles with the highest overall theft losses are SUVs and large pickups. The Escalade has ranked worst in overall theft losses in 6 of the past 7 HLDI reports. In fact, all 4 versions of the Escalade head the list of the worst overall losses for theft. Almost 1 of every 4 Escalade theft claims is for $40,000 or more and average yearly losses are more than 7 times the average for all passenger vehicles.

The Corvette Z06 isn’t stolen as often as the other vehicles on the worst list, but claims are expensive. The average claim payment is $41,229.

The Charger has an average payment of $10,118; it’s on the list because of how often the HEMI-equipped ones are stolen. Although the Charger is equipped with Chrysler’s Sentry Key, which immobilizes the engine, enterprising thieves can still load the car on a flatbed and haul it away. Witnesses to such thefts may think the car is being repossessed rather than stolen.

Pickups, especially work trucks, are becoming more popular among thieves because they often have tools or cargo. HLDI noted the Ram 2500, though it didn’t make the top ten, is also a favorite target.

Top Ten
Cadillac Escalade
Ford F-250 Crew Cab, 4-wheel drive
Infiniti G37 2 door
Dodge Charger, HEMI-equipped models
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Hummer H2 4-wheel drive
Nissan Armada
Chevrolet Avalanche 1500
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
GMC Yukon

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