CARS.COM — Eight days. It took just eight days from the time we purchased our new 2015 Honda Fit long-term test car until a thief decided to claim the Fit’s wheels. And this isn’t the first time our staff has experienced this Honda Fit wheel theft. A few years ago one of our editor’s personal cars, a 2007 Honda Fit Sport, had her wheels stolen.
Related: We Bought a 2015 Honda Fit
On this occasion, the Fit was parked on a residential street in a North Side neighborhood of Chicago. It was targeted around midnight. Photo Editor Evan Sears heard noises and noticed a suspicious car from his window; when he opened his front door to look outside, the perpetrators took off. They managed to take just one wheel, but they left the Honda Fit on blocks. Police arrived quickly and took a report.
While we won’t delve through any statistics about thefts on Honda Fit wheels of 2015 – or thefts about the Honda Fit, in general, for that matter – the previous generation Honda Fit Sport, which also comes with standard alloy wheels, saw significantly higher thefts than other vehicles.
The 2013 Honda Fit Sport had 50 percent higher insurance claims for theft, according to Matt Moore, vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute. While the group’s data doesn’t drill down to what specifically was stolen – whether stereos, wheels, or even just tires – the average cost of the claim was half the average. The data suggests the entire vehicle wasn’t being stolen.
There’s other anecdotal evidence for the trend as well.
EveryBlock.com — a website intended to connect and update neighbors — has two other reports this year of Honda Fits getting their wheels stolen in Chicago.
A perusal of Google News brings up a smattering of recent stories of Honda Fit wheel theft across the country: From Charlotte, N.C., to the San Francisco Bay Area, Honda Fit wheels are being stolen.
Why is the Honda Fit a popular target? The Honda Fit’s 15-inch alloy wheels can be used on a variety of popular Honda models, including the Honda Civic. The Civic is, in fact, one of the most stolen vehicles in the country.
We put a spare wheel and a spare tire on the Fit and drove it to the closest Honda dealer (not the dealer from which we purchased it), to get a quote on general repairs, as well as replacing the Honda’s one wheel and one tire. There was minor damage to the lower rocker panel, but we found the body shop’s estimate of $1,061.03 high. We plan to shop around for a more reasonable price to repair to the Honda’s hardly noticeable damage. None of the underbody was damaged during the theft.
We were hit with another shocker: The repair bill for the Honda Fit’s single wheel and tire replacement. Here’s the breakdown:
- Wheel: $338.43
- Tire: $108.07
- Mounting the tire to the wheel: $50
- Wheel center cap: $23.56
- Recommended wheel alignment: $139.95
- Wheel locks: $56
- Labor: $30
With taxes, the cost of a single wheel being stolen cost us — drum roll please — $800.67. All of these prices were higher than other dealers in the area, but due to various circumstances our immediate need for a road-ready Honda outweighed potential savings. Unfortunately, we paid for that need.
We believe there will be less chance of theft with newly installed wheel locks, but one of stories we Googled contained an ominous warning on using the wheel locks. The owner of that Fit had used wheel locks but the thieves smashed his window to find the key inside.
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