The answer to keeping one’s self from being a victim of hybrid battery thieves may be security bolts.
This at least is the takeaway from a CBS News affiliate, which reports the incidence of their theft is on the rise in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The used recyclable or resalable goods are becoming as hot as stolen iPhones, says the report, and carry a value in the neighborhood of $1,000 for the thieves.
Hybrid batteries that come from the automaker bolted down in the car can be accessed and stolen inside of one minute, even as quick as 30 seconds once the thieves are in the car.
One man, Jim Elkins, was reported as having to spend over $11,000 to have his Prius repaired after the invasion.
Never mind the B-roll footage of a Chevy Volt at 0:21, and 1:05. It has a large 450-pound battery that is not easily extricated. This report is about hybrids with a smaller battery easily accessible and light enough for one person to carry.
The bolts are a tamper resistant variety. These replace the original bolts and need a special socket to remove.
Greentec Automotive Vice President Daniel Razumovsky says the deterrent will be effective too as these are proprietary bolts.
“Getting the tool to remove the bolts will not be possible, Greentec is the only one that has the right to the tool to get it removed,” he said.
The cost to the consumer is $350 to have Greentec install the new bolts. This fee is broken out at $100 parts (bolts) and $250 labor at the customer’s location; that is $25 per bolt with a minimum of 4 bolts for third generation Prius plus on-site installation.
“We travel to customers houses and install the bolts at their convenience,” said Razumovsky. “The labor is 1.5 hours, it is the same amount of time as replacing a hybrid battery with actually replacing it.”