Audi RS4 owners are counting the cost of a new and rising crime trend – amazingly this is the theft of front seats being stolen to order! The superior seating is being ripped out of the performance vehicles and, since Audi doesn’t make the seats anymore, many insurers are saying that the £19,000 cost of replacements is just too prohibitive and so are writing the vehicles off.
Owners are literally parking their cars and coming back to find that thieves have unbolted the seats, having smashed the windows to remove them. Recent comments made on various forums by car dealers and also from after-market alarm-installers indicate that seats in any RS4 parked in a street – especially in London – are simply not safe.
Only approximately 2,000 RS4s were manufactured and the seats are known for their durability: it is believed they are being targeted because of a new ‘fashion’ in modification called OEM-plus. This is when original equipment manufacturer parts from high-end vehicles are stripped from top marques to use in lower-end vehicles.
Apparently, fitting the seats into a different vehicle is made quite simple, thanks to car manufacturers having a number of brands, with them all sharing platforms and parts. However, the RS4 seats now have to be imported in parts and take specialists more than 20 hours to fit and so restore the vehicle to its previous high-end spec – hence the cost involved.
There is no identification linking the seats to the cars, so this of course makes life easier for the criminals as the seats are hard to track down. Ineffectual alarm systems have been criticised also with reports that the RS4 security system is very poor, the siren very quiet and the sensors can be disabled in seconds. With over 30 seat-theft cases in the London area alone in the last twelve months, people are beginning to ask that Audi help their drivers to overcome this new – and rather strange – theft phenomena.
At Westhill Insurance Services we are used to claims for the ‘unusual’. Motor vehicles are regularly targeted for different items which may be in ‘fashion’ and stolen to order – just think of the huge outbreak in the theft of BMW badges of a few years ago. We have seen thefts of catalytic convertors, fuel and alloy wheels – basically if it can come off a car, someone will want it! That is one reason why car insurance is so vital (the other of course being it is a legal requirement!). Drivers need to be aware when they park their vehicles, try to pick open, well -lit areas. Remember too, that if you modify or personalise your vehicle, this can have an impact on your insurance, so be sure to check. Make one quick call to our friendly team at Westhill and see how we can help you. Our customer service is second to none and we will never sell you insurance you don’t actually need. So come and join the others who insure with us, you’ll be glad you did!