Photo: NADA Foundation

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and twelve other entities including the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) sent a letter to the U.S. Energy and Commerce Committee this week, expressing concerns about the rise in catalytic converter thefts and urging its top members to take action. 

Specifically addressed to the Committee’s Chairman Frank Pallone and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the letter noted that NICB data indicates “the number of catalytic converter thefts reported in insurance company claims sharply increased from 2019 to 2020, and 2021 is likely to have been another record year, with some cities reporting that the instances of this crime have tripled.“

The thefts are occurring nationwide, with some police departments stating incidences have exponentially risen in just one year alone. For example, Las Vegas police reported an 87% uptick in thefts year-over-year, and Philadelphia reported a 72% increase in that same time period.  

It is estimated that thieves can sell stolen catalytic converters for between $20 to $350, while costing their victims upwards of $2,500 in damages, replacements, and repairs. Of course, dealers are greatly impacted by thieves dismantling vehicles on their lots, as they subsequently cannot be sold until they are fixed.  

This week’s letter urged the Committee to support and raise awareness of what has been deemed the “Preventing Auto Recycling Theft” (PART) Act, or H.R. 6394. The bill would reportedly provide a “national framework to help law enforcement combat catalytic converter theft,” which may include manufacturing all catalytic converters with serial numbers and/or making theft of the parts or the sale of stolen parts a federal crime.

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