Theft of Toyota Prius cars in Japan at a high due to platinum parts
Approximately 90% of such thefts seem to target older models of the Prius as they contain parts with more platinum and palladium than other cars.
After platinum prices skyrocketed last year following the Western sanctions on Russia, thieves in Japan have been targeting Toyota Motor Corp.’s Prius hybrids, which contain parts of platinum and palladium. Local police recorded at least 173 thefts of mufflers or catalytic converters in Japan’s Chiba Prefecture last year - 16 times more than in 2021.
Police added that approximately 90% of such thefts seem to target older models of the Prius, as they contain parts with more platinum and palladium than other cars.
The Western sanctions against Russia in light of the war in Ukraine resulted in major supply chain disruptions which in turn increased inflation and energy prices around the globe, leaving no country exempt. About 40% of the world's palladium comes from Russia, a major platinum manufacturer.
The Japanese Internal Affairs Ministry said last month that core consumer prices in Japan climbed 3.7% last month compared to a year earlier.
Prices jumped the most for processed food items and were also higher for electricity and durable goods like air conditioners.
The November figure is well below the sky-high levels that have sparked concern in the United States, Britain, and elsewhere, but far exceeds the Bank of Japan's long-term goal of 2.0%.
Even excluding fresh food and energy, the index was up 2.8%.