Socialites, doctors, ballers, and shot-callers, you’ve been warned: Your Cadillac Escalade is, by far, the most stolen vehicle in the U.S. This news comes by way of a study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, showing that the ‘Slade is six times more likely to be stolen than the average theft rate for the industry, and damages are 10 times more expensive to repair than the average.
In the IIHS report, the organization found that there were 10.8 stolen vehicle claims per 1000 vehicles across the Escalade lineup, with an average loss claim of $10,555 per vehicle and an average property loss of $114. That number rose to 14 claims per 1000 vehicles with the Escalade EXT pickup truck.
The IIHS compiled its data using stolen vehicle records across the nation from 2008 to 2010. The Escalade luxury SUV has traditionally been one of the most stolen vehicles in the U.S. since it came out as it was an easy target for thieves. Coming without a steering wheel lock until 2010 when the steering rack was redesigned, carjackers found an easy target for push-away thefts, breaking the transmission shifter lock and steering the vehicle into a discreet location until it could be hauled away.
Quick to respond to the latest findings from the IIHS, General Motors said that a more robust steering wheel lock has been implemented on 2012 Cadillac Escalades. Cadillac also has an available inclination sensor that sets off the alarm when the Escalade senses elevation, an available shock sensor that will sound the alarm when there is impact to it, and newly available wheel locks to prevent theft. It should be noted that those options come as part of a $215 package that really should come standard on the base $64,405 standard-length Escalade SUV.
“We are committed to beating the thieves and expect these new theft deterrent systems to greatly reduce the Escalade’s rate of theft and lower its position on HLDI’s list,” said Bill Biondo, GM’s global lead for vehicle theft prevention in a statement.
Automotive.com’s take: We posted the above video to show how easy it is to steal an Escalade. GM has a responsibility to recognize the problem owners face with stolen vehicles, especially high-profile ones like the Escalade. Why isn’t the security package standard equipment, and why hasn’t GM fixed the flaw in the column shifter? The Escalade may be bold and brash on the outside, but when it comes to protecting consumers’ interests, it’s about as meek as they come.