A new report has just been released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The report details the most-stolen new cars in the U.S., based on 2009 data. According to the report, the Camry and the Audi S8 topped the list. The least stolen car was the discontinued Mercury Mariner.
Camry wins by sheer number
The Toyota Camry, the best selling car of 2009, had 781 cars missing. It was the most swiped by sheer volume. But it did not make the top ten by cars stolen per thousand sold.
The top five thefts
The Audi S8 was stolen 8.81 times per thousand cars sold, according to the NHTSA report. The GT Shelby Mustang was the next unhappy runner-up on the list. They were stolen at a rate of 8.61 cars per thousand sold.
Third on the list was the BMW M5. For every 1,000 M5s sold, 7.58 were lifted. In fourth place was the Dodge Charger. For every 1,000 new Charger owners, 6.47 filed theft reports.
Rounding out the top five was the Honda S2000, which was driven away illegally at a rate of 5.6 for every thousand sold.
The bottom five
The Mitsubishi Galant, the Chrysler 300, the Infiniti M35/M45, the Cadillac STS and the Mercedes-Benz CL-class rounded out the top 10.
The car with the lowest theft rate was the Mercury Mariner SUV, which went missing .08 times in a thousand. Apparently it was unpopular with thieves and buyers alike, because the model has since been discontinued.
Crime rates dropping
Taken as a whole, the report found that 1.33 cars were pilfered out of ever 1,000 sold in 2009. That rate, compared with the 1.69 thefts per thousand in 2008, was down by 21.3 percent. That figure jibes with other national crime rates, which have been steadily in decline for the last several years.
The NHTSA study ignored light trucks. That class includes many pickup and SUVs, such as the Cadillac Escalade. In a similar study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Cadillac Escalade was the most stolen car in the U.S. in 2009.