The ability for owners to track and remotely disable their electric vehicles were some of the factors that help Tesla Motors' automobile achieve the distinction of being the least stolen automobiles by volume.
Topping the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) 2013 list of most-stolen vehicles, the Honda Accord was stolen 53,399 times in a 12-month period. On the opposite end of the spectrum was Tesla's Model S electric car.
On average, roughly 3.5 vehicles of every 1,000 manufactured are stolen at some point. For Tesla Motors, the theft rate is 0.15 per every 1,000 of the automaker's electric vehicles produced.
Though Tesla Motors said it couldn't confirm its wafer-thin theft rate, Alexis Georgeson, a Tesla Motors communications representative, said her company will continue to research ways to step up the security of its vehicles.
"We take the security of our cars very seriously and relentlessly continue to improve our vehicles via over-the-air updates, an ability unique to the industry," says Georgeson. "We will continue to work to stay ahead by providing the most sophisticated tools and technologies in our cars and working closely with security researchers to identify and address potential vulnerabilities."
But while Tesla Motors' vehicles keep in touch with owners via the automobiles' 3G chips, Nitesh Dhanjani, a security expert, says the wireless tech could be used against the electric vehicle manufacturer one day -- the cars have already suffered from glitches.
"Given the serious nature of this topic, we know we can't attempt to secure our vehicles the way we have attempted to secure our workstations at home in the past by relying on static passwords and trusted networks," states Danjahni.
In general, the frequency of vehicle theft is slowing and has been since the early '90s. Cases of grand theft auto climbed to 11.66 million in 1997, but the National Insurance Crime Bureau expect 2013's totals to hover somewhere around 700,000 when the 2013 numbers are finalized near the end of 2014.
The steady fall in the number of vehicle thefts is encouraging, but automakers and law enforcement agencies still have much more work to do, NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle said.
"The drop in thefts is good news for all of us," states Wehrle in a press release (PDF). "But it still amounts to a vehicle being stolen every 45 seconds and losses of over $4 billion a year. That's why we applaud the vehicle manufacturers for their efforts to improve anti-theft technology and pledge to continue to work with our insurance company members and law enforcement to identify and seek vigorous prosecution of the organized criminal rings responsible for so many of these thefts."