As we have become aware of the catalytic converters on the Toyota Prius being targeted and the theft deterrent shield becoming available it seemed like the problem had been resolved. We noticed a huge reduction in thefts and the shield was solid.
Unfortunately as it may be with these things, resourceful thieves may have found a way around it. There is a very small tiny gap at the front of the shield, very small hands or an extra long extended blade can get in there and make a cut.
Don't be discouraged as the shield is doing its job. An extra layer of protection is added and it poses greater risk as the thieves are significantly slowed down. Additionally it makes them have to work harder and there is a higher risk of getting caught.
However, what we have now seen is that with multiple cuts and some extra force the cat can still be taken. This is different than before where all it took was two quick cuts. It is rare at this point for this to happen as we have so far only seen a few cases. This new trend might become more prominent soon and we thought it important to share our findings.
If you believe you are at extra risk, having to park your car outside for extended periods of time, or have any concerns with your catalytic converter being taken there are extra steps we can take to add security.
We have found some key points that can be reinforced with welded on rebar to provide additional protection.
The following are two pictures of the Prius exhaust system.
Top picture is before the (standard) metal plate cat shield is installed, here you can see where the catalyst lives. The green outline illustrates where the shield will sit.
Bottom picture is after the metal plate cat shield is installed, as you can see the catalytic converters are safely protected behind the big metal plate. If you look closely to the picture where the red triangle illustrates, this is where the tiny access area is. A tiny bit of pipe is exposed where they can take advantage and make a cut to begin the process of stealing your cat. The orange triangles are the spots where additional rebar enforcement would be added.