NADA – Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise across the country and every dealership is at risk. Last year alone, the National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates that over 52,000 catalytic converters (CC) were stolen nationwide. For reference, in 2018 there were only 1,300 reported CC thefts.
Thieves are after precious metals that are housed in the catalytic converters, which help reduce harmful toxic emissions from internal combustion engines. The increased value of precious metals such as palladium, rhodium and platinum, has led to an exponential increase in CC thefts over the last few years, with no signs of slowing down.
Cars sitting on the lot are prime targets for thieves and NADA has been hearing from a multitude of dealers who have experienced CC theft in their own stores.
NADA strongly supports legislation introduced by Rep. Jim Baird of Indiana, H.R. 6394, the Preventing Auto Recycling Theft (PART) Act, which would help thwart catalytic converter theft by increasing traceability and enforcement.
The PART Act includes a $7 million grant program through which certain entities can voluntarily stamp VINs, or other identifiers, onto the catalytic converters of vehicles already on the road at no cost to vehicle owners. Dealers are specifically eligible to utilize this grant program.
The bill also requires new vehicles to have unique, traceable identifying numbers stamped on catalytic converters at the time of assembly. Additionally, the bill increases record keeping requirements for purchasers and establishes a federal criminal penalty for the theft, sale, trafficking or known purchase of stolen catalytic converters of up to five years in jail.
This week, NADA and 12 industry partners urged Congress to take up the PART Act to help fight catalytic converter theft, and specifically asked for the House Energy and Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on this important issue.
If you have experienced catalytic converter theft at your dealership, please let us know. Also reach out to your local Congressman to urge him to support H.R. 6394.