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If you own a Cadillac Escalade, you better keep one eye on it at all times. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), the Escalade is still the apple of a car thief's eye. The large luxury SUV is six times more likely to be plucked away by thieves than average. If you happen to have the truck-like EXT Escalade, you're in even worse shape since 14 out of every 1,000 vehicles insured wind up with a theft claim.

On the flipside, if you're the proud owner of an Audi A6 then you can rest easy. Car thieves aren't hunting for your particular mid-size luxury sedan. Want to know what vehicles round out the top and bottom ten from the perspective of a car thief? Well, at least according to the HLDI. Click past the jump for the full press release.

Interestingly, General Motors decided to respond to the HLDI's findings, and you can find the press release from Cadillac after the break as well.
Show full PR text
Cadillac Escalade, large pickup trucks top list of thieves' favorite vehicles, claims data show

ARLINGTON, VA - The Cadillac Escalade is more than 6 times as likely as the average vehicle to be targeted by thieves and has overall theft losses more than 10 times as big, an analysis of insurance claims for 2008-10 vehicles by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) shows.

The Escalade for years has dominated HLDI's list of vehicles with the most theft claims, and 4 versions of the luxury SUV appear at the top this time. The Escalade EXT, which has a pickup bed, is ranked worst, with more than 14 claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years, or more than 8 times the average. An insured vehicle year is 1 vehicle insured for 1 year, 2 for 6 months, etc.

Pickups are another favorite of thieves, and the Ford F-250 crew cab 4-wheel-drive comes in second to the Escalade for the most theft claims, with other models ranking high on the list. Overall, pickups have much higher theft losses than passenger cars and SUVs ($24 per insured vehicle year versus $9 and $12, respectively), though from 2007 to 2009 pickup losses fell substantially. The decrease may be because of the fact that ignition immobilizers, which prevent vehicles from being hot-wired, recently have become more common in pickups. The technology became widespread in cars and SUVs earlier.

Still, immobilizers can't prevent all types of theft, and even Escalades have them as standard equipment. Moreover, the devices don't affect theft of property from a vehicle, which also is reflected in the rankings.

"Immobilizers are a good deterrent against joy-riding teenagers, but professional thieves can easily haul away an SUV on a flatbed truck," says HLDI senior vice president Kim Hazelbaker. "A pickup that can't be driven away is still vulnerable to having tools and cargo snatched from its bed."

The most targeted car, excluding luxury and sports cars, is the Chrysler 300. That's followed by models known for their powerful engines, including the Chrysler 300 HEMI, the Dodge Charger HEMI, and the Nissan Maxima.

The list of vehicles with the lowest claim frequencies is topped by the Audi A6 4-wheel-drive sedan and the Mercury Mariner, a small SUV. Each has a claim frequency of 0.5 per 1,000 insured vehicle years. The Audi has a much higher average loss per claim, so its overall average theft loss ($8) is much higher than that of the Mariner ($1).

HLDI's theft numbers differ from reports by other organizations because they are based on the number of insured vehicles on the road. In contrast, information published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau simply lists the most frequently stolen vehicles. As a result, the list usually reflects the most commonly driven vehicles, not how likely a vehicle is to be targeted.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is required by law to report theft data, but light-duty trucks with gross weight ratings of more than 6,000 pounds - a category that includes the Escalade - are excluded. The agency looks at thefts in a single calendar year of vehicles from that model year. It measures exposure by the number of vehicles produced.

HLDI's data come from insurers representing about 80 percent of the market for privately insured vehicles. The data don't include information on thefts of vehicles that aren't insured or are insured by nonreporting companies. They also don't distinguish among thefts of entire vehicles, vehicle parts, and vehicle contents. HLDI is an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.



GM Statement on Cadillac Escalade Anti-Theft Systems

2011-08-25

We continue to deploy theft deterrent technologies on the Cadillac Escalade to address the high rate of theft of this popular luxury vehicle. Escalade has a sophisticated cryptographic immobilizer system, called PASS Key 3+, that has been proven to greatly thwart drive-away thefts. Since 2010, Escalade has included a steering column lock system to help prevent other theft conditions, including push away theft.

"We are currently implementing four new pieces of 'armor' on Escalade intended to reduce vehicle thefts, particularly those called push away," said Bill Biondo, GM's global lead, vehicle theft prevention. "We are committed to beating the thieves and expect these new theft deterrent systems to greatly reduce the Escalade's rate of theft and lower its position on HLDI's list."

New for 2012, the Escalade includes:

  • A new and more robust steering column lock system that makes it nearly impossible to maneuver the Escalade onto a flatbed tow vehicle
  • An available inclination sensor that sets off an alarm when the system senses a change of the angle of the vehicle, such that would occur with towing, flatbedding or jacking up the vehicle.
  • An available shock sensor intended to reduce content theft and push away theft by sounding the alarm when the vehicle is "shocked" such as breaking the glass.
  • A new wheel lock system is available to help prevent the theft of Escalade's wheels and tires.

"Beyond developing theft deterrent systems and technologies, we continually work with law enforcement agencies across the country to help educate these agencies on our systems but equally important is to learn from them what is actually occurring in the field so we can continue to develop effective theft deterrent solutions for our customers," said Biondo.

Additionally, OnStar is available on Escalade and many other GM models with the capability to locate stolen vehicles, immobilize them to prevent the thief from restarting the vehicle, and slow the stolen vehicle once police are on the scene which can help prevent high-speed chases.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 37 Comments
      Oceanblue78
      • 3 Years Ago
      This version is leaps and bounds beyond the first generation pos I am not surprised it holds this title!
      bcworkz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Did they really put HEMI in the same sentence with Maxima? Isn't there a law or something?
      Imaginary lines
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cuz those twenty-twos fit on my 96 Tahoe!!
      oRenj9
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just to get this straight: thieves target large American cars but largely ignore smaller & European cars. This really shouldn't be too much of a surprise considering how easy it must be to move stolen parts for the most common vehicles in the country. Eight out of the ten most stolen vehicles are F-series or GMTx00 platform vehicles which account for at least 35% of the total number of registered vehicles in the country.
      lorenzo
      • 3 Years Ago
      so, people that buy these have the same taste & values as uneducated, unemployed, drug addicts?
      ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is because of all thug people people who glorify the Escaled.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ryan
        [blocked]
          cheshope
          • 3 Years Ago
          Almost every "gang" or "thug" scene in movies or tv has an Escalade in it. It's definitely portrayed as a gangster car. I'm a Cadillac enthusiast and I don't see why any normal person would want to drive an Escalade anyways.
      TurboZ
      • 3 Years Ago
      " luxury SUV"...ha
      Stinkyboy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I drove one in Palm Springs for a week. It looked great, but it drove like a rattle junk box. I expected a smooth ride. I guess it was the suburban roots creeping through. NEXT.......
        airchompers
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Stinkyboy
        exactly! They look very nice. But they drive poorly. I really think Suburbans and Tahoes drive better (probably due to the lower weights). I know people who lease the things just because they have so many issues that creep up after about 3 years. I have no idea why someone would spend $63k+ on an Escalade. You can get a A6/E Class/5 Series/M37/GS for less money and they're all much nicer.
          lemonite
          • 3 Years Ago
          @airchompers
          "I have no idea why someone would spend $63k+ on an Escalade" No common sense?
          azeidy
          • 3 Years Ago
          @airchompers
          well when you want to be able to carry a family and some in luxury
          ebonyblazer
          • 3 Years Ago
          @airchompers
          How do you figure Suburbans and Tahoes drive better? My mother 'splurged' on a gently-used '03 with the 6.0L V8 and fulltime AWD, and it's a much nicer ride than my uncle's '07 Avalanche.
          nvedamuthu
          • 3 Years Ago
          @airchompers
          More than 63k, most people end up spending 75k to get features that should be standard.
      FeMan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Where are all the racist comments? Oop there's one (below!) :D
        JeremyABG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @FeMan
        If you see any racist comments in this or any other post, please use the Report Abuse option to let us know about them. Thanks!
      Brian
      • 3 Years Ago
      Driven by blacks, stolen by blacks. At least we can say they keep it in the family.
      Need Mulally 4 Ford
      • 3 Years Ago
      So much for OnStar
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Need Mulally 4 Ford
        [blocked]
      Adam Basilio
      • 3 Years Ago
      Look a Tahoe with shiny rims and plastic holes on the side.
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