Catalytic Converter Thefts Top 64,000 in 2022

By Staff Writer May 12, 2023

A new report based on insurance claims released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau shows a surge in catalytic converter thefts across the country. In total, the nation experienced more than 64,000 catalytic converter thefts in 2022, which represents a 207% increase from 2021. Leading the country are California and Texas, which experienced more than 32,000 catalytic converter thefts last year.“This new data is just a snapshot of an underreported crime that affects communities across the nation,” said David J. Glawe, President and CEO of NICB.

Based on insurance claims, thefts of catalytic converters increased significantly from 2020 through 2022. Insurance claims for these thefts increased 288% from 16,660 claims in 2020 to 64,701 in 2022. Catalytic converter theft claims had an upward trend trajectory throughout 2020 and 2021 and theft claims in 2022 were significantly higher than in previous years.

Catalytic Converter Theft by State.

Mandated in the U.S. since 1975, catalytic converters neutralize harmful gases in engine exhaust that contribute to air pollution and smog and are bolted to the underside of cars or trucks as part of their exhaust system. Catalytic converters contain platinum, rhodium, and palladium, rare earth metals that are more valuable than gold. Often metal recyclers pay between $50 to $250 for a catalytic converter and up to $800 for one removed from a hybrid vehicle. It can cost between $1,000 and $3,500 or more to replace a catalytic converter that is stolen, depending on the type of vehicle.
Legislative efforts are under way to address the rising number of thefts. New bills and amendments are being introduced to increase requirements for catalytic converters sellers, impose due diligence obligations on metal recycling entities, and establish penalties for unauthorized sellers and buyers engaging in fraudulent practices related to catalytic converter purchases. In 2022, NICB’s Office of Strategy, Policy, and Government Affairs tracked 163 legislative bills across 37 states, with 31 bills enacted. So far in 2023, 94 bills are being tracked across 39 states, with 12 bills already enacted.

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Last modified on Monday, 19 June 2023 00:13