SmartWater forensic protection: How is it applied?

Smartwater Forensic Protection

In May 2021, Toyota announced plans to covertly mark more than 100,000 catalytic converters with SmartWater forensic protection as part of a campaign to combat theft. The application of SmartWater is a quick, free and simple process which can be carried out by your local Toyota centre.

Smartwater Forensic Protection

Although you can contact your Toyota centre to arrange a visit, existing Toyota customers can have SmartWater forensic protection applied to their cars free of charge at their next scheduled visit.

What is the point of SmartWater forensic protection?

In the first instance, forensically marking catalytic converters this way serves as a valuable deterrent against would-be thieves. Additionally, should the catalytic converter be stolen, it enables the police to trace back the stolen item and link it to a specific crime. It also raises the risk to all those handling the devices along the criminal chain, from theft to eventual disposal and recycling.


Toyota has worked with police and SmartWater to develop the initial batch of kits. Earlier this year, 20,000 kits have been supplied to police forces to support their local anti-catalyst theft initiatives. We are also working with the AA, our road-side partner, so its patrols can point customers to where they can get a free kit.

How will the product be applied to my Toyota?

1 Registration

The first step is registering the product on a national database. Vehicle registration and basic customer details are all that is required to link the unique code within each SmartWater forensic protection product to your vehicle.


2 Inspection

The Toyota technician working on your vehicle will ensure the ignition is off and the components under the car have cooled. Then they will clean the area where the SmartWater forensic protection is going to be applied.

Ignition off

3 Application

Application of the SmartWater forensic protection could not be easier. The product is contained within a tube and the lid contains a small applicator brush. Your Toyota technician will apply the product to your car’s catalytic converter. Once the SmartWater is dry, it is invisible to the naked eye and is guaranteed to last for 5 years.


4 Awareness

The SmartWater kit includes stickers stating that the exhaust system is forensically protected, as a deterrent to would-be thieves. Your technician can apply these stickers to your car. The suggested placement is on the rear bumper just above the exhaust pipe and on the windows.


British Transport Police Superintendent and metal crime lead, Mark Cleland, said: “Thanks to our joint working with SmartWater, Toyota and other industry partners, and the drive by enforcement partners across the UK, we have made a real impact in tackling metal and catalytic converter crime.

“While arrests continue to be made, it is the preventative approach through the forensic marking of catalytic converters that gives motorists the opportunity to protect their property and stop the crime in the first place.”

Smartwater Forensic Protection

So, to take advantage of this free of charge service and the added protection for your vehicle against Catalytic Converter theft, please contact your local Toyota Centre who can arrange for the forensic marking to be applied.


    1. Hi Janet,
      We are sorry to hear that this was not advised to you.
      However, the application of SmartWater is a quick, free and simple process which can be carried out by your local Toyota centre at a time that is convenient to you.

  1. I’ve just this weekend collected a brand new Prius and surprised that this hadn’t already been done before I picked it up.
    I guess I’ll have to ask the dealer about it next week

  2. I had my Auris service on the 18th of December 2021. I told the service staff for the forensic marking as I have received a letter from Toyota. When I picked up the car after service and came home. I did not see any kind of Smartwater sticker on my car. Then I called the Toyota Sheffield. They replied that they have done the forensic marking even though there is no sticker and user name and logon to check the details. She told me that I can collect the sticker on Monday. I am not quite sure if it is done or not?

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for your comment.
      We are sure that your Toyota Centre have applied the Smartwater Marking if they say they have.
      May we also confirm what user name and log-in you are referring to?

      1. I have been told that when they apply this forensic marking then I receive details from Toyota to check whether I am registered on national database of smartwater. I never received any details to confirm that.

      2. Hi, thanks for your comment.

        Please get in touch with your local Toyota Centre who carried out this work. They should have provided you with the code relating to the forensic liquid placed on your vehicle.


  3. Have just had this put on my car. I asked the dealer about some form of code and was told it wasn’t given out. Exactly what should I receive?

  4. Does this apply to Lexus cars as well? Please could could some one let us know? I have already lost my cat conv to thieves and do not want it to happen again. Thanks.

    1. Hi Anjum,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Please contact your Lexus Centre to see what options are available for you.
      We hope this helps.

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