Late-model vehicle theft declining in the United States

Article by Anita Panait, on July 15, 2013

Theft of late-model vehicles is dropping dramatically in the United States mainly to technologies employed by carmakers to stop such crime, according to separate reports published by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Highway Loss Data Institute. One of the reasons for the decline is the carmaker's increasing use of ignition immobilizers, which prevent thieves from hot-wiring cars.

It was estimated that almost nine of ten 2012 models are equipped with ignition immobilizers. NHTSA and the private group, however, differed on what model is the most theft-prone vehicle in US. NHTSA said in its report that the Dodge Charger was the vehicle most often stolen in 2011, with 4.8 thefts for every 1,000 cars produced in 2011. The Charger was followed by the Mitsubishi Galant, Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet HHR.

HLDI, however, beg to differ. In its own report, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety-backed HLDI said the Ford F-250 crew-cab with four-wheel drive was the most often stolen vehicle in the US, followed by the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Avalanche 1500, GMC Sierra 1500 crew, and Ford F-350 crew with four-wheel drive. HLDI's report covered model years 2010 to 2012.

The Cadillac Escalade dropped to sixth in HLDI's ranking after General Motors revised the sports utility vehicle to make it more difficult to be handled by thieves. Matt Moore, HLDI vice president, said in a statement that GM "has put a lot of effort" into new antitheft technology, which could be the reason for the decline. He said different results for NHTSA and HLDI could be due to differences in methodology. Moore said that HLDI based its rankings on a database of insurance claims, while NHTSA based its report on thefts reported to police.

Looking at the exterior of the new 2011 Dodge Charger, there is no question that it is aerodynamic and efficient. Not surprising as the inspiration for this model was the classic Charger, specifically the second-generation that was released during the late 1960s. For the 2011 Dodge Charger, the exterior also showcases a design that will likely strike the emotional strings of any Dodge performance aficionado, no matter what generation they may come from.

The face of this new Dodge Charger has that menacing “ready to attack the road.” With this, it is able to place the best E-segment sedan competitors in the world in the middle of the “split crosshair” of the signature grille. Already highly detailed, the design of this grille has been made more intricate and now has a black satin inset that has been positioned to the chrome surrounds.

At the back of this chromed grille is the grate having a split hexagon design. It is in this grate that the new “Dodge” badge can be seen. Helping the front section get that performance and sculptured appearance is the aluminum hood which has the dual “scallops.” This particular design feature is a direct influence from the Dodge Charger coupes during 1968 to 1970.

The design heritage can also be seen on the large bodyside scallops that is able to offer a powerful A-line on the doors. This brings to mind the high-performance tradition of the Dodge Charger. There is also the trademarked horizontal “coke bottle” which goes from the front to the rear. Meanwhile, the body-side shape is able to give the fenders, both on the front and back, those muscular proportions to have that intimidating profile.

Dodge revealed that the flared bodysides of this four-door fastback coupe have been made more prominent. It also allows for an offset between the shoulder lines and the roof rails amounting to 6 inches. Finally, it gives this new Charger a performance stance that is more “planted,” harking back to the second-generation versions. When it comes to the wheels, it is surrounded by the performance-sculpted surrounding.

Compared to the previous generation of the Charger, the tire-to-body fitment is tighter by 8 mm. This not only enhances the aerodynamics but gives the 2011 Dodge Charger a look that is sportier and stronger. Adding in a deck-lid spoiler also helps make the aerodynamics better and gives it that Dodge attitude. The deck-lid spoiler is included as standard on the Charger R/T and offered as an option for the Charger SE.

Topics: united states

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