NADA Supports Senate Bill Targeting Catalytic Converter Thefts

WASHINGTON — The National Automobile Dealers Association on Wednesday applauded the Senate’s introduction of legislation that would help law enforcement address an alarming rise in theft of catalytic converters in the USA

Democratic Sens. Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar and Oregon’s Ron Wyden introduced the bill — known as the Preventing Auto Recycling Theft, or PART, Act — in September, following an earlier effort this year in the House of Commons. United States representatives.

The bill aims to reduce the theft of catalytic converters by requiring new vehicles to have the VIN stamped on the converter, allowing law enforcement officers to trace stolen parts to original vehicles.

The bill would also create a grant program to allow dealerships, repair shops and other eligible parties to affix VINs to existing vehicle converters and establish federal criminal penalties for theft, sale, trafficking or known purchases of stolen catalytic converters for up to five years in prison.

“The theft of catalytic converters is out of control across the country,” NADA President and CEO, Mike Stanton said in a statement. “Because converters currently cannot be traced and laws are different from state to state, criminals view stolen catalytic converters as easy money. This is a huge problem for dealers. and consumers.”

The Senate bill was referred to the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. He does not yet have Republican support.

In the United States, catalytic converters are stolen from increasingly high rates because they contain expensive precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium and are not easily traceable.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau said 14,433 thefts of catalytic converters were reported in the United States in 2020, compared to 3,389 cases in 2019. In 2018, only 1,298 thefts were reported.

Stolen converters can cost up to $350 each on the black market, NADA said, but can cost vehicle owners up to $2,500 to replace them.

“Thefts of catalytic converters have skyrocketed across the country since the start of the pandemic, and because these are property crimes, there is very little deterrence for individuals who commit these acts,” said National Insurance Crime Bureau CEO David Glawe said in a statement. “Congress must act to make the theft of a catalytic converter a felony and introduce tougher penalties to deter would-be criminals from committing these acts in the first place.”

U.S. Representative Jim Baird, R-Ind., introduced the PART Act in January. It was referred to the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce and has the bipartisan support of more than 40 lawmakers.

In May, NADA and 12 other trade groups sent a letter to Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, urging lawmakers to hold a hearing on the measure.

Norman D. Briggs