U.S. Senators Mike Braun, Amy Klobuchar, Ron Wyden and JD Vance have introduced bipartisan legislation to combat the rise in catalytic converter thefts.
The Preventing Auto Recycling Thefts Act would ensure that law enforcement can more effectively address these thefts by marking each converter with a traceable identification number and establishing converter thefts as a criminal offense. Catalytic converters are required for compliance with federal emissions laws but are costly for car owners to replace once stolen.
“Catalytic converter theft is becoming a serious problem for Hoosiers, and we need action to crack down on this crime. This bipartisan bill will crack down on catalytic converter theft by making it a criminal offense and requiring new vehicles to have a Vehicle Identification Number stamped onto the converter to help law enforcement track stolen parts back to their owners.”—Senator Mike Braun
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, catalytic converter thefts rose by over 325 percent from 2019 to 2020. Replacing these parts imposes significant financial costs to vehicle owners, often between $500 to $2,300 and can even result in a total loss to the vehicle.
The PART Act would:
Require new vehicles to have a Vehicle Identification number stamped onto the converter to allow law enforcement officers to link stolen parts to the vehicle from which they originate
Create a grant program through which entities can stamp VIN numbers onto catalytic converters of existing vehicles
Improve record keeping standards for purchasers of used catalytic converters
Establish enforceability of laws around catalytic converter theft by codifying these crimes as a criminal offense