U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have introduced legislation to combat the rise in catalytic converter theft, the senators announced.
The Preventing Auto Recycling Theft (PART) Act would ensure that law enforcement can more effectively address these thefts by marking each converter with a traceable identification number and establishing converter theft as a criminal offense.
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 (VIN) 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; and
- Establish enforceability of laws around catalytic converter theft by codifying these crimes as a criminal offense.
The bill has received the endorsement of the National Automobile Dealers Association, the American Truck Dealers (ATD), the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA), the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the National RV Dealers Association (RVDA), the National Salvage Vehicle Reporting Program (NSVRP), NTEA — The Association for the Work Truck Industry, the American Car Rental Association (ACRA), the NAFA Fleet Management Association, the National Consumers League (NCL), the National Private Truck Council, and the Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA), the legislators said.
Representative Jim Baird (R-IN) leads companion legislation in the House of Representatives.