Facebook Twitter

Mercedes sedan is No. 1 with thieves

SHARE Mercedes sedan is No. 1 with thieves

ARLINGTON, Va. — DaimlerChrysler AG's Mercedes S-class luxury sedan is the top target of U.S. car thieves, outranking sport-utility vehicles in an insurance industry study for the first time in six years.

The sedan had the highest combined theft frequency and insurance loss for the 1997-99 model years, the Highway Loss Data Institute said. Sport-utilities placed first for the previous five years, with Toyota Motor Corp.'s LandCruiser ranked No. 1 in last year's study.

Sport-utility theft losses are declining because automakers "are paying more attention to 'soft spots' where thieves can break into (sport-utilities) and are adding anti-theft devices," institute spokeswoman Kim Hazelbaker said. Mitsubishi Motor Corp.'s Montero had the highest theft loss among sport-utilities in this year's survey, ranking in fourth place overall.

Honda Motor Co.'s two-door and four-door Acura Integra cars placed second and third. Honda added new anti-theft devices on its 2000 model Integras, Hazelbaker said.

Theft losses from the Mercedes were 10 times higher than the average passenger car, the institute said. Mercedes vehicles have appeared on the list for five straight years, and the SL convertible model placed fifth in the most recent ranking.

Nissan Motor Corp.'s Maxima ranked sixth, followed by Toyota's Lexus GS models. Bayerische Motoren Worke AG's BMW 3 and 7 series vehicles were ranked eighth and ninth, while Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln Navigator with four-wheel drive was in 10th place.