WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and JD Vance (R-OH) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to combat the rise in catalytic converter thefts. The Preventing Auto Recycling Thefts (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 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
“Throughout the country, we’ve seen an alarming increase in catalytic converter thefts. These converters can be easily taken from unattended cars but are difficult and expensive for car owners to replace. By making catalytic converter theft a criminal offense and ensuring each converter can be easily tracked, our bipartisan legislation would provide law enforcement officers with the tools and resources they need to crack down on these crimes.”—Senator Amy Klobuchar
“The theft of catalytic converters has soared in Oregon and across the nation, costing working families and small business owners valuable time and money. This bill will bring us one step closer to solving this problem by strengthening local law enforcement’s ability to locate stolen car parts and address these thefts as a criminal offense.”—Senator Ron Wyden
“This legislation offers a commonsense solution to the rampant problem of catalytic converter theft. In Ohio, our law enforcement community is reporting these crimes at a shocking frequency and small businesses are being forced to incur preventative costs. I’m proud to introduce this bill with my colleagues and provide our law enforcement with some much-needed assistance to get this problem under control.”—Senator JD Vance
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
- Establish enforceability of laws around catalytic converter theft by codifying these crimes as a criminal offense
Representatives Jim Baird (R-IN), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Angie Craig (D-MN), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), and Michael Guest (R-MS) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
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 NAFA Fleet Management Association, the Elite Catering and Event Professionals (ECEP), and American Property Casualty Insurance Association.