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Tags: catalytic converter | air pollution | thieves | environmental protection agency | car protection | insurance

Lauren Fix, The Car Coach: Catalytic Converter Thefts Skyrocket

Lauren Fix, The Car Coach: Catalytic Converter Thefts Skyrocket

Lauren Fix By Tuesday, 20 December 2022 11:41 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Across the country, catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed in the last few years, and they continue to increase. It seems like an odd car part to take, but it is easy money for these thieves. According to data compiled by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the theft of catalytic converters has increased more than 1,000%.

So what is a catalytic converter? It’s a piece of the emissions system that uses chemical reactions to turn the toxic fumes from a car’s engine into less harmful exhaust. As part of the exhaust system on gas-powered cars, hybrids, and trucks — catalytic converters play a key role in reducing air pollution from cars which is why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made it a requirement for all cars to have starting in 1975.

Stealing a catalytic converter can take as little as 30 seconds, and the part has continued to remain a prime target for theft thanks to elevated prices on the precious metals they contain like platinum and palladium. Those rare earth metals are the key driver in theft; athieves can then sell these converters to salvage yards, pocketing the cash. They don’t sell them one at time, either. They typically sell them in truck loads!

The precious metals that are contained in these catalytic converters are produced and mined in Russia, Ukraine and South Africa, which means replacement units are challenging to get, if you are victim. These are financial crimes, crime is a business, and business is very good for criminals.

It’s important to note which cars are most targeted for catalytic converter theft. Thieves look for vehicles that have two catalytic converters, so that means energy-efficient vehicles or hybrid vehicles that run on gas and electric. Some hybrid models, such as the Toyota Prius, are huge targets because their catalytic converters use higher amounts of rare earth metals to better handle hotter-than-normal exhaust. Which means they get a bigger payout.

Commercial vehicles are easy targets as they are higher off the ground. This includes vans that transport elderly people, delivery vans and other vehicles with higher ground clearance that allow suspects to more easily get underneath the car or truck to saw off the catalytic converter.

Once the thief gets underneath a car or truck, the process of stealing your catalytic converter can happen quickly. As mentioned earlier, it takes about 30 seconds or less. They cut the catalytic converter with the reciprocating saw, in front and behind the converter, leaving your vehicle damaged and you holding the bill. However, the good new is, this can be run through your insurance in most cases.

You can protect yourself from catalytic converter theft by parking your vehicle in a garage, if you have one. If you have to park on the street, or in an uncovered driveway, park in a well-lit area, and make sure you have a security system on your car with a motion sensor to set off an alarm.

Be sure to check your insurance coverage, and confirm that you will be covered for a new catalytic converter in case of a theft. Your liability insurance should cover you in the event that you’re in a car accident, but it may not cover a theft of your vehicle or parts from your vehicle. Contact your insurance carrier to ensure you have comprehensive insurance coverage just in case.

If you are a victim of catalytic converter theft, expect a delay in repairing your vehicle. There is a parts shortage globally and this includes catalytic converters. Even worse these parts have become much more expensive over the past two years.

If you are a victim of catalytic converter theft, you will know the moment you start your car. It won’t be hard to tell because the exhaust sound will be much louder than usual, the vehicle will be drivable but, it may not be legal to drive on public roadways. A catalytic converter is required by law in all states. If the vehicle won’t run properly, it will need to be parked until it’s repaired.

Last year, lawmakers in 26 states have introduced legislation in an effort to curb these thefts, with 10 states signing new laws into place, increasing the penalty should the thieves get caught. This has not deterred thieves, sadly.

There is so much more to discuss on this, put your comments below, and let’s start the conversation.

You can support me by buying me a cup of coffee - the link is in the description. Thank you! https://www.buymeacoffee.com/laurenfix

We will be reviewing all of the newest cars on our YouTube channel Car Coach Reports.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/JQNyzAkoy_0

Additional articles on our website https://www.CarCoachReports.com

"LAUREN FIX'S GUIDE TO LOVING YOUR CAR” Book - https://amzn.to/3ifDi3j

Total Car Score Podcast ► Hosts: Lauren Fix, Karl Brauer and Javier Mota. https://www.revolverpodcasts.com/shows/total-car-score/

Lauren Fix, The Car Coach is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. A trusted car expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and safety issues for both the auto industry and consumers. Her analysis is honest and straightforward.

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Across the country, catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed in the last few years, and they continue to increase. It seems like an odd car part to take, but it is easy money for these thieves.
catalytic converter, air pollution, thieves, environmental protection agency, car protection, insurance
Tuesday, 20 December 2022 11:41 AM
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