Dodge Charger, F-250 popular with car theivesAuto thefts decline because of technology, but statistics conflict
"General Motors has put a lot of effort into new antitheft technology, so that may help explain the decline," Matt Moore, vice president of the group, said in a statement.
Different methodologyThe two reports produced separate results because of differences in methodology, Moore said during an interview. His group bases its rankings on a database of insurance claims, while NHTSA counts thefts reported to police. Moore said large pickup trucks are also particularly prone to theft claims because owners can recoup the cost of equipment stolen from the flatbed. Still, the two groups can agree on some of their findings -- including that the Charger is stolen more frequently than most vehicles. While the muscle car did not make the top 10 most stolen models according to HLDI, the group found that it had 3.5 theft claims per 1,000 years of insurance coverage, or triple the average model. Experts are not exactly sure what makes the Charger so popular with thieves, although the car's ample horsepower might be part of the equation.
"If I were a thief I might be able to answer that better," Moore said during a phone interview. "They're powerful vehicles," he added.NHTSA says its preliminary data show that model-year 2011 vehicles were stolen that calendar year at rates 91 percent lower than the year before.