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DATE News (chronologically)
08/21/12
automotive
1994 Honda Accord is most-stolen car in U.S. for 4th consecutive year
The 1994 Honda Accord was the most frequently stolen car in the U.S. in 2011 for the fourth straight year as the vehicle's popularity and lack of security features made it a favorite among thieves.

Last year, 7,596 Accords from the 1994 model year were stolen, according the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The 1998 Honda Civic was the second most-stolen car, the trade group said today in a statement. It was the seventh straight year that the top two spots were filled by cars from Honda Motor Co.

"They're actually stealing the older cars, because the safety features that the newer cars have, they're not there," said Joe Brosius, a retired Tempe, Ariz., police officer who heads the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators. "They're easy to steal, that's why they're always No. 1."

Newer vehicles are equipped with a feature to prevent them from being started when a key isn't present, making the cars harder to hot-wire, Brosius said in a phone interview. Honda added the technology, which it calls the immobilizer system, to cars in 1997 and 1998, said Chris Martin, a spokesman for the automaker.

"It takes the technology barrier for a thief fairly high," Martin said by phone. "They need to be fairly sophisticated to get around that."

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