Tesla Model S Now U.S.’ Least Stolen Automobile

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 23

This Wrecked Tesla Model S Was Stolen From A Tesla Store

This Wrecked Tesla Model S Was Stolen From A Tesla Store

Previously, It Had Been Reported That Only 4 Model S Were Stolen In The U.S.

Previously, It Had Been Reported That Only 4 Model S Were Stolen In The U.S.

There have been a few high-profile Tesla Model S thefts (most recently, a Model S owner tracked and located her stolen EV using Tesla’s app), but as it turns out, the Tesla Model S is actually the least stolen automobile in the U.S.

The most high-profile Model S theft was the one in which the thief crashed the EV into a building after splitting the car in half.

In both cases, the Model S was believed to have been stolen by someone who had access to the key fob.  In the case of the tracked Model S, the owner reportedly left the fob in the EV.  As for the split-in-half, crashed Model S, the thief was believed to have obtained the key fob from a Tesla service center.

So, both thefts involved access to the key fob.  Without the fob, the Model S seems damn near theft proof.  As the Irish Times reports:

“Has Tesla made a theftproof car?”

“Its Model S is the least stolen car in the United States, but it’s not yet clear if that’s because it’s hard to steal, because it’s not worth stealing yet or simply because crooks haven’t yet worked out how to bypass its security.”

“…Honda Accord. Fifty-four thousand of them were stolen in the US last year, making it the United States’ most popular car among thieves. Eighty-four per cent were from 2007 or before; not at all coincidentally, in 2008 Accords started to come with anti-theft engine immobilisers as standard”

“If the Accord is the most pinched car in the US, then the Tesla Model S is, by almost any mainstream standard, the least stolen. It’s not yet clear whether that’s because it’s hard to steal, because it’s not worth stealing yet or simply because crooks haven’t yet worked out how to circumvent its security systems.”

“The Model S currently has a theft rating of 0.15 vehicles stolen per 1,000 built. That compares to an across-the-board average of 3.51 stolen per 1,000 produced. Part of that must be down to Tesla’s decision to equip every Model S with a 3G chip, so that if the car is taken it can be tracked and even remotely shut down.”

While the Model S is definitely difficult to steal and easy to recover, some believe that its low theft rate is due to lack of demand for Model S parts.  The Model S is relatively new (and sold in somewhat limited numbers), so the demand for used parts is low, not to mention that it’s an expensive car, so the average Model S owner is unlikely to go to the black market in search of parts.

There may be some truth to this idea that second-hand Model S parts are in low demand, so theft is low too, but we believe the word has spread that the Model S is both difficult to steal and easy to recover and that certainly deters the average thief.

Source: The Irish Times

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23 responses to "Tesla Model S Now U.S.’ Least Stolen Automobile"

  1. MDEV says:

    Eric why did you use that photo? this is like Fox news style, why not the white Tesla car recovered intact due the phone app locator.

    1. Dave R says:

      No kidding. :-/

    2. Foo says:

      Yeah…. a fire picture?

      That’s like doing a story on tires and selecting the photo of a burning Model S and captioning it, “This car used to have tires”.

  2. Assaf says:

    I would be surprised to hear that the Leaf or other shorter-range BEV get stolen more than the Model S. My guess is that at this stage, most thieves would be intimidated by the limited range, esp. if they have to go on a high-speed escape.

    1. io says:

      It’d be particularly dumb for a thief to even take the chance of being chased, as nicely illustrated above.

      Range isn’t the issue, you don’t need to drive 100+ miles to make a car disappear.
      Much more relevant are the facts that recent vehicles are damn hard to hot-wire (so amateurs/joyriders won’t bother) and still under warranty, so there’s virtually no market for spare parts (so chop-shops aren’t interested).

  3. taser54 says:

    It’s not that surprising. How many $80k+ cars are actually left in places where they can be stolen? Gated communities, secure garages, white-collar workplaces- this isn’t some renter’s honda accord parked on the street overnight in a city.

  4. kdawg says:

    0.15/3.51 = 4.2% That is much more than the market share plug-ins car sales. So the thief market share is higher than the purchasing market share.

    What about Fisker Karmas? Wouldn’t we have less of those stolen?

    Also, couldn’t thieves just load a Model S onto a truck and drive away. Put a Faraday cage around it to prevent any tracking.

    1. Josh says:

      I am sure many more Fisker’s ended up “stolen” after owners took a look at the resale values 😉

    2. I really want to have a chat with a car thief who knows what a Faraday cage is. He’s patently over-qualified.

  5. Eletrek says:

    @kdawg – you math is really screwed up and your point totally off track. Article uses same standard of measurement which is the number of vehicle stolen per 1000 sold. Market share is not relevant.

    1. kdawg says:

      It was a bad attempt at humor.
      68% of statistics are made up.

  6. The title on the article completely incorrect:
    “Tesla Model S Now U.S.’ Least Stolen Automobile”

    FYI: Four Model S’s have been reported to police as been stolen in 2013/2014, but a number of vehicles (many of them EVs) have zero reports. So the “Least Stolen Automobile” is not a Model S
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/only-4-teslas-have-ever-been-stolen-in-us-2014-05-07?siteid=yhoof2

    A list of vehicle thefts by model is at Federal Register (2012 being the latest year)
    https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/08/05/2014-18443/preliminary-theft-data-motor-vehicle-theft-prevention-standard

    Volt: 2
    iMiEV: 1
    Coda: 0
    LEAF: 0
    Model S: 0

    Note: number of Austin Martin, BMW, Ferrari, … etc. have zero thefts!

    1. Spec9 says:

      Someone stole an i-MiEV? LOL.

      1. Foo says:

        By mistake?

      2. Tim says:

        Probably wasn’t even stolen. I bet the owner just ditched it somewhere out of embarrassment.

  7. Stephen says:

    Has anyone ever heard of a Leaf being stolen?

    1. Foo says:

      Yes, but the thief said he was just trying to turn over a new Leaf. (Ba-dum-cha!!)

  8. offib says:

    How in the bloody hell did I not notice this on the Irish Times?!

  9. Spec9 says:

    Steal a Tesla and end up like the pictures.

  10. Steven says:

    Ah, but will The insurance companies take note, and adjust their policy costs?

    I doubt it.

    1. The insurance rate on my S is extremely low, especially compared to ICE vehicles of similar class.

  11. Acton Paull says:

    Wow it sounds awesome. Tesla’s high demand is because of it property. Tesla is very fantastic company and it constantly brings the changes to secure and to win the heart of customer.