“They’re actually stealing the older cars, because the safety features that the newer cars have, they’re not there,” said Joe Brosius, a retired Tempe, Ariz., police officer who heads the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators. “They’re easy to steal, that’s why they’re always number one.”
This is the seventh year in a row that the top two spots on the list have been occupied by Hondas and the fourth year running for the Accord to take the first place spot. In 2011, there were 7,596 Accords stolen from the 1994 model year alone. The list, called Hot Wheels, is compiled annually by the The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB).
As a popular car with exceptionally weak security features, the 1994 Accord is an easy target for thieves. in 1997 and 1998 model year cars, Honda added something it calls an “immobilizer system” to prevent its cars from being started without a key present.
Still, there are measures the NCIB recommends owners can take to help ensure their car stays where it’s parked until they return.
First, and this is an obvious one, lock your car and take your keys. Second, installing a visible or audible alarm is another obvious way to scare off thieves. Third, kill switches, fuel shutoff systems and smart keys can go miles against having you car stolen. Finally, installing a tracking device can help recover a car even if someone makes off with it.