Tesla’s Latest Accolade: Hardest to Steal

Tesla Model S in Red

At least for the time being, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) can add another accolade to its resume: automaker with the least stolen automobile. Even considering the low volume of Model S electric vehicles on the streets of America, Tesla’s ratio of stolen car per one thousand vehicles produced was the lowest following the latest tally by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Theories abound as to why Tesla’s flagship vehicle has been able to avoid the touch of thieves.

In the annual report that surveys the number of total auto thefts, the Honda (NYSE:HMC) Accord was the ‘winner’ in 2013 at 53,995 cars stolen. Since Teslas sell at such lower volumes (approximately 2,500 car per month in the U.S.), the more useful calculation is cars per thousand produced. The Hyundai Tucson and Acura RDX were among the cars with the lowest ratio stolen at 0.4 per 1,000. Tesla cut that figure by more than half with 0.15 per 1,000 reported stolen, making it the lowest volume stolen on the market, according to The Irish Times. (The average is 3.51 stolen per 1,000.)

Though Tesla (never one to be shy about boasting) has not confirmed the Model S was indeed the heavyweight champion of theft avoidance, there are several reasons to believe it is the case. The tech feature that allows owners to shut down the car remotely would prove daunting to anyone aiming for a getaway in a stolen Model S. Without a moment’s notice, the car becomes immovable.

Since there have been claims the Tesla security shield can be hacked, a fair question to ask is whether a Model S will be more theft-worthy in the future, once car thieves improve their tech skills to stay in business.

TeslaFactory

Tesla Factory

Then again, Tesla has been arming itself for battle in this regard, recently courting hackers to give the Model S a shot at the Def Con security conference. For a car that starts close to six figures in the 85 kWh performance model, there are at least 94,570 reasons for Tesla to continue pushing the envelope on the security front.

Other theories about the car’s theft-proof reputation suggest the secondhand parts market for the Model S has yet to reach its full potential. Most Teslas cars are new enough they still remain under warranty, leaving underworld mechanics and suppliers without a need to undercut factory prices.

In any event, Tesla owners who rave about their performance electric cars have another reason to celebrate a highly celebrated vehicle. For now, there’s no vehicle more baffling to the grand theft auto set. They are still feasting on the countless Honda Accords on American streets.

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