Prices of Replacement Parts Helps Drive Rise in Auto Thefts

Vehicles offer thousands in black market replacement parts.

by on Feb.16, 2018

The NICB reveals the individual prices for different replacement parts for vehicles.

Auto thieves had a strong year in 2017 with thefts up 4%, according to FBI statistics, and that number is expected to remain “strong” as many of these vehicles end up being chopped up for replacement parts.

The average car has nearly $10,000 in “replacement” parts that are sold on the black market.

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The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) notes that today’s vehicles are loaded with expensive parts and technology that increase the costs of repairs, even in what may be considered a minor accident. Getting these parts from less-than-reputable sellers can equate to big profits for repair shops.

“For the professional theft ring, stealing and stripping vehicles for parts has always been a lucrative business,” said NICB Senior Vice President and COO Jim Schweitzer.

(Global auto sales set to hit record in 2018. Click Here for the story.)

“On today’s cars and trucks, the parts are often worth more than the intact vehicle and may be easier to move and sell. That’s why we see so many thefts of key items like wheels and tires and tailgates … there’s always a market for them.”

The NICB looked at the cost of replacement parts for the top 10 stolen 2016 models. The group pulled its “average original equipment manufacturer part prices” from a database of more than 24 million vehicle damage appraisals generated for insurance claims from 2016 and 2017.

(Click Here to see more about the “most stolen” vehicles.)

Parts such as bumpers, doors, fenders, hoods and headlights were on the list. Major components like the engine and transmission were not included. This is not a case where the whole of the vehicle is more valuable than the sum of its parts.

For example, the 2016 Toyota Camry, the most stolen 2016 model, had 15 commonly replaced components valued at nearly $11,000. That’s not including labor costs associated with the work to install these parts.

(To see more about an increase in racist activities, sexual harassment at auto plants, Click Here.)

The 2016 GMC Sierra pickup truck included a $1,100 headlamp and a rear bumper worth more than $1,100. The 20 standard components rang in at more than $21,000. The 2016 Nissan Altima had 14 standard components worth more than $14,000, including a single headlamp assembly valued at more than $1,000.

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