Catalytic Converter Theft in California

Across the US, we see a tremendous surge in catalytic converter theft. As an essential component for reducing an automobile’s emissions, catalytic converters contain incredibly valuable precious metals which make these parts attractive to thieves. Stealing a catalytic converter can take just 30 seconds, and according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the number of converter theft cases has risen over 1,000% since 2018. And with the increased value of the precious metals they contain, such as platinum and Rhodium, we do not expect this growing trend to slow down. 

What Vehicles are at Risk of Catalytic Converter Theft in California?

California Cat Shields

According to the data collected by the NICB, targeted vehicles can vary from region to region. Since 2019, the automobiles who show the most risk for catalytic converter theft in California include:

  • Toyota Prius
  • Honda Element
  • Honda Accord
  • Ford Econoline
  • Honda CRV
  • Ford F-250
  • Toyota Tundra
  • Toyota Sequoia 
  • Ford Excursion
  • Toyota Tacoma

Actions Against Catalytic Converter Theft

catalytic converter anti-theft shield

Due to the massive increase of catalytic converter theft, many states have introduced legislation, passed laws, or initiated incentive programs to help prevent converter theft. In California, lawmakers and local residents are taking action to help curb this crime. 

At the state level, legislation includes regulating who can buy and sell catalytic converters, passing new laws and higher penalties for catalytic converter theft, and a tracking system for stolen catalytic converters. If passed, the latter will require car dealerships to inscribe the automobile’s vehicle identifications number (VIN) onto the catalytic converter. 

While the growing problem of catalytic theft is gaining attention, some cities in California want action now. For instance, the City of Lake Forest is set to start an incentive program for residents to help protect their vehicle’s catalytic converter as early as this December. The approved program gives residents the opportunity to receive a $250 rebate that can go towards their purchase of catalytic converter anti-theft shield or paint and etch their converter at no cost. Their efforts hope to help lessen the nationwide problem and spike in value.  

At the Federal level, the Preventing Auto Recycling Theft Act (PART Act) was introduced earlier this year. Similar to California’s tracking system of etching the VIN, all new vehicles will be required to stamp the VIN on the catalytic converter. It also includes a grant program to fund VIN stamping on older vehicles.  

Protect Your Investment

We highly recommend Cat Shield™ by MillerCAT to help ward off catalytic converter thieves and support the efforts California has made to deter thieves and protect their residents. For the highest quality protection, shop the Cat Shield™ line up at MillerCat.