According to a report by Autobody News, the number of wheel and tire thefts in the United States increased by 18% in 2022 and has increased by almost 90% since 2020. Tesla vehicles are not immune to this trend, and in fact, are often targeted by thieves due to the high value of their wheels and tires.
There is no definitive data on the number of Tesla tires and custom wheels that are stolen each year, but it is estimated that the number is in the thousands. In 2021, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reported that the average cost of a wheel and tire theft claim was $3,800. This means that the total cost of Tesla wheel and tire thefts in the United States could be in the millions of dollars each year.
There are a number of things that Tesla owners can do to make their wheels and tires more theft-proof, and prevent tire and wheel theft including:
- Use wheel locks. Wheel locks are specially designed lug nuts that require a special key to remove. This makes it much more difficult for thieves to steal your wheels and tires.
- Park in well-lit areas. Thieves are less likely to target vehicles that are parked in well-lit areas. If possible, park your Tesla in a garage or in a well-lit parking lot.
- Install a security system. A security system can deter thieves from targeting your Tesla and can also help you to recover your vehicle if it is stolen.
- Consider using tracking devices. There are a number of tracking devices available that can be attached to your Tesla's wheels and tires. These devices can help you to locate your vehicle if it is stolen.
According to Electrek, Tesla Sensory Mode enables cameras around the vehicle to record thieves, as well as activates an alarm and sends a notification to the car owner that something is going on with their vehicle. This will help to prevent tire or wheel theft. The hope is that if a thief knows they’re being recorded, they won’t finish the job, or they’ll get startled by the alarm. (Via GetJerry)
In addition to activating Sensory Mode, Motorious recommends Tesla drivers park in a secure facility like a parking garage or personal garage at night, or at least in a well-lit area with traffic. Parking on a steep slope also makes thefts a bit more complicated, which can further protect your vehicle.
Tesla is also taking steps to make its vehicles more theft-proof. For example, Tesla vehicles are equipped with a number of security features, including a Sentry Mode that can record video of the surrounding area when the vehicle is parked. Tesla is also developing new wheel lock technology that will make it even more difficult for thieves to steal Tesla wheels and tires.
What to you do to help to prevent your vehicle's wheel or tire theft? Share with us your tips in the comments section below, please.
Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded TorqueNews.com in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin, and Youtube. He has more than a decade of expertise in the automotive industry with special interest in Tesla and electric vehicles.