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Discussion Starter #1
Integra tops the stolen car list

A study shows Acura Integra is the most stolen new car model in the U.S.
May 15, 2002: 3:33 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Acura Integra tops a new study listing the most stolen passenger vehicles for the model years 1999-2001, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute.

The list correlates numbers of each 1999-2001 model passenger vehicle thought to be on the road with the frequency that it is stolen to determine which cars thieves want most often. Other studies don't use that formula -- usually concluding that the most stolen vehicles are models that most populate the highways, the institute said.

Theft investigators believe that Integras are so popular with thieves because of their parts, according to Kim Hazelbaker, HLDI senior vice president.

"Many of those parts, like the more powerful engine, end up on modified Honda Civics," Hazelbaker said. The Civic and the Integra share the same platform.

According to the study, the Integra was stolen with a frequency of 21.7 times per 1,000 insured vehicles on the road in a year.

The Integra was stolen more than eight times as often as the average car, and 2.5 times more frequently than the Jeep Wrangler -- the vehicle second on the list -- according to the institute.

The average U.S. car is stolen 2.6 times per 1,000 insured vehicles, according to the study. The Wrangler is stolen, the institute said, 8.5 times per 1,000 insured vehicles.
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6,809 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Top cities for stolen cars


Phoenix and Miami Areas Top List of Thieves Favorite Places

PALOS HILLS, IL, April 30, 2002 – With vehicle theft on the rise for the first time in ten years, people need to pay more attention to protecting their cars and trucks from thieves – particularly if they live in communities near ports and international borders.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reported today that of the top ten metropolitan areas for vehicle theft, all are in or near ports and Canadian and Mexican borders or within easy reach of them.

The NICB’s study analyzed 2001 vehicle theft rates of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and vehicle theft data collected from the FBI. MSAs, designated by the U.S. Census Bureau, include cities as well as communities in the surrounding area.

The ten-cities/metropolitan areas (MSAs) with the highest vehicle theft rates in 2001 were:

1. Phoenix, AZ 6. Tucson, AZ
2. Miami, FL 7. Tacoma, WA
3. Fresno, CA 8. Stockton, CA
4. Detroit, MI 9. Seattle, WA
5. Sacramento, CA 10. Jersey City, NJ

FBI statistics show that the ten-year decline in auto theft rates has stopped, with an increase of 1.2 percent from 1999 to 2000. Nearly 1.2 million vehicles, costing more than $7.5 billion dollars, are stolen nationwide each year. More than 30 percent are never recovered.

Many of the un-recovered vehicles are shipped overseas or driven across international borders. Some 200,000 vehicles are illegally exported each year, says the NICB.

"The post-September 11 redeployment of law enforcement from auto theft task forces has increased the need for consumers to take as many steps as possible to prevent their vehicles from being stolen," said Robert M. Bryant, NICB president and chief executive officer.

The NICB recommends a layered approach to preventing car theft, with the number of layers depending on the vehicle and geographic location, budget and personal preference.

There are four layers of protection to consider: common sense – removing keys and locking doors; visible and audible devices – steering wheel locks or alarms; immobilizing devices – cut-off switches and fuel disablers; and tracking devices that give police the location of a stolen vehicle.

"With auto theft increasing around the country, consumers everywhere should play a more active role in protecting their cars and trucks from theft, regardless of where they live," Bryant said.

The NICB vehicle theft rate is the number of vehicle thefts reported per 100,000 in population. MSAs represent not only cities and adjacent metropolitan regions, but also broader areas. For example, the Chicago MSA includes not only the city of Chicago and Cook County, but eight surrounding counties as well.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau is the nation’s premier not-for-profit organization solely dedicated to fighting insurance fraud and theft for the benefit of its customers and the public through information analysis, forecasting, criminal investigation support, training and public awareness. The NICB is supported by approximately 1,000 property/casualty insurance companies.

To learn more about the "layered approach" to protecting your vehicle from theft click here.

To view the complete NICB Vehicle Theft Rate Study click here.

6,809 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
2002 SUV's Safer

2002 SUVs much more safe than predecessors
The first group of 2002 SUVs crash tested show significantly better results than previous models.


Half of the newly redesigned 2002 SUVs recently crash-tested received the highest possible rating for crash safety.


Historically, SUVs have come under fire for their poor safety ratings, and the potential to inflict serious damage on other vehicles involved in accidents. And while sales of the largest SUVs such as the Ford Excursion and Chevrolet Suburban have declined in 2001, sales of the new-breed "crossover SUVs" — those built on a car frame — remain strong. Crossover SUVs are models such as the Acura MDX, the Buick Rendezvous, and the Toyota Highlander.

Half of the newly redesigned 2002 SUVs recently crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) received the highest possible rating for crash safety, and two received the second-highest rating. None were rated "Poor," the lowest rating available.

That's a major about-face from past years, when some SUV models were rated "Acceptable" and a substantial percentage were rated "Poor." For example, past models of the Mitsubishi Montero Sport were rated "Poor" but this year's Montero received an overall "Good" rating.

"This is encouraging," says Brian O'Neill, IIHS president. "In the past when we've tested a group of vehicles, we haven't gotten so many good performers, and we usually get at least one poor performer. But offset crash test performances have been getting better, as this group demonstrates."

No bad apples
Mixed reviews for SUVs
Although the newest mid-size SUV models hold up well in crashes at 40 mph, IIHS has found that they suffer major damages in crashes at a paltry 5 mph. For instance, the Buick Rendezvous, which was just rated "Acceptable" for its high-speed crash performance, sustained nearly $4,000 in damage to its rear bumper when IIHS backed it into a pole at 5 mph. The Suzuki Grand Vitara, rated "Good" overall, cost $1,500 to repair after a gentle 5 mph tap to its front bumper.

For more on SUV bumper design, read SUVs suffer from poor bumper design.

Newly tested are the Acura MDX, Toyota Highlander, Suzuki Grand Vitara XL-7, Mitsubishi Montero Sport, Buick Rendezvous, Isuzu Axiom, Chevrolet Trailblazer, and Pontiac Aztek. Each of these SUVs has been redesigned for the 2002 model year; IIHS also tested 11 SUVs that had not been redesigned and thus maintained the same crash-test results as earlier models.
The Acura MDX was the best performer, with its air bag and safety cage each functioning flawlessly. "This is an example of very good performance," O'Neill says. "The dummy's injury measures were all low, indicating that a driver in a similar real-world crash would be able to walk away with nothing worse than minor injuries."

Worst of the lot were the Trailblazer and Aztek, both "Marginal," but IIHS says the Trailblazer performs much better in crash tests than its predecessor, the Chevrolet Blazer, which is no longer manufactured. In its incarnation as the Blazer, the SUV received "Poor" ratings almost across the board because of a high likelihood of head injuries in a crash. But the 2002 Trailblazer maintained the driver's "survival space" much better, indicating that its safety cage functions like it should. Although there were some problems, including too much movement of the brake pedal toward the driver, the driver's chances of surviving a crash in the new Trailblazer are much improved.


"Offset crash test performances have been getting better."


The 2002 Aztek is "Marginal" because its air bag deployed too late in the crash, which can contribute to major head injuries, says IIHS.

Like the Trailblazer, the Mitsubishi Montero Sport was redesigned and held up much better in the most recent round of crash tests, moving from "Poor" to "Good." Its safety cage now performs well, and IIHS says the only serious injury concern is to the driver's right leg and right foot.

The Axiom, Grand Vitara, and Highlander each rated "Good," with only moderate chances of leg or head injury in each model.

IIHS crashes cars at 40 mph into a frontal-offset barrier that overlaps the car's front end by 40 percent. This test demands more of a car's safety structures than the federal government's tests, which crash a car's entire front end into a barrier. The government's tests are more demanding of seat belts and air bags.

Last updated Sept. 28, 2001
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