2009 Audi S8
The study found that the car with the highest theft rate, a rate of 8.81 thefts per 1,000 vehicles sold, was none other than the Audi S8--but there’s a catch.
The catch is that only 227 S8 sedans were sold in the U.S. in 2009, and of these only two were stolen. Coming in a close second was the Shelby GT Mustang, which had a theft rate of 8.61 vehicles stolen per 1,000 sold, based on reports of five cars being stolen out of the 581 actually sold in 2009.
Moving down the list, the BMW M5 comes in third with a theft rate of 7.58 per 1,000, followed by the Dodge Charger with a rate of 6.47 per 1,000 and the Honda S2000 at 5.60 per 1,000 to round out the top five.
The most stolen vehicle of 2009 also happened to be the top selling vehicle of that year, the popular Toyota Camry. A total of 781 were stolen that year but this only equates to a theft rate of 1.74 per 1,000.
Overall, the study found that the average theft rate for 2009 was 1.33 per 1,000 vehicles sold, a drop of 21.3 percent from the 1.69 per 1,000 rate just one year earlier. Oh, and the vehicle with the lowest theft rate? That was the now-discontinued Mercury Mariner SUV with a 0.08 per 1,000 theft rate, or two out of 25,682, according to The Detroit News.
Importantly, the NHTSA study didn’t include figures for light trucks, which includes many SUV and pickup models, which is why we’re not seeing popular vehicles with thieves like the Cadillac Escalade on the list. The Escalade, in fact, has consistently rated as the most stolen vehicle in the U.S. in similar studies conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).