It’s a dubious distinction, especially for one of the perennial best-selling family cars in the United States, but the 1994 Honda Accord tops the list of most stolen vehicles in 2010.
According to a report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), “Hot Wheels,” almost 52,000 Honda Accords were stolen in 2010, and over 44,000 were models made in the 1990s. The model year Accord most frequently stolen was 1994. Honda began equipping its cars with immobilizer systems in 1997, preventing the vehicles from running unless the driver has the key.
The 1995 Honda Civic was number two on the Hot Wheels list. And number three? That belongs to the 1991 Toyota Camry.
In a telephone interview with Automotive News, NICB spokesman Frank Scafidi said, “There is a substantial black market for hot parts.” In other words, certain year makes and models are “worth more in parts than they are intact.”
Although foreign automakers dominated the top three spots, there was a clear preference for domestics among car thieves in 2010 – the first time this has happened since 2002. Six out of the top ten were domestic makes. Ford had three vehicles on the list (1997 F-Series Pickup, 2001 Ford Explorer, and 1999 Ford Taurus, in spots five, nine, and ten, respectively); Dodge two (the 2004 Dodge Ram and 2000 Dodge Caravan, numbers six and seven, respectively), and Chevrolet one (the 1999 Chevrolet full-size Pickup, in fourth place).
The 1994 Acura Integra landed in eighth spot.
There is some good news, however. Nationally, U.S. vehicle thefts dropped in 2010 to the lowest level since 1967, according to preliminary statistics from the NICB.