Toyota Offers Shields Catalytic Converter In Prius, Another Model

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It’s no secret that catalytic converter theft is currently at an insane level. With aftermarket assistance, Toyota is taking steps to try and quell would-be thieves with a special shield that effectively blocks access to the converter.

If you go into the online configurator for the 2023 Toyota Prius, you’ll find something called Cat Sheild available in the accessories section. Produced by a California-based company called Miller’s cat, it’s basically an aluminum shield with vents to allow airflow around the heat dissipation system. It attaches to points that are on the underside of the car, and comes with an “anti-tamper screw kit” to prevent the bad guys from removing it with a socket wrench.

This is a $140 option that isn’t factory installed, meaning you’ll need to do it yourself or have it installed at a dealer. Considering the catalytic converter for the 2022 Prius is over $1,000 from Toyota, $140 is pretty cheap insurance.

Oddly enough, at the time of publication, we only found the Cat Shield offered on the new Prius. After contacting Toyota, was told that it is actually available in many vehicles. That includes older Prius versions like the C and V, as well as the Corolla, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, and 4Runner. This certainly makes sense in higher-riding vehicles, which are easier targets due to their ground clearance. Furthermore, Toyota said it will be offered on additional vehicles in the future. There was no mention of a price beyond the 2023 Prius.

The precious metals used in the production of catalytic converters have long made them favorite and convenient targets for thieves. However, theft of expensive emission devices has skyrocketed in recent years National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports a 325 percent increase in 2020. Converters can usually be stolen in just a minute, as we recently saw with some brash crooks driving a Lamborghini Urus.

The good guys made some headway in the fight. In early November, the US Department of Justice took down a massive converter theft ring. 21 people from five states were charged, and more than $545 million in assets were seized.