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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.