Senators Introduce Catalytic Converter Theft Bill
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Legislation aimed at reducing the theft of catalytic converters was introduced in the U.S. Senate this month.
The Preventing Auto Recycling Thefts (PART) Act, sponsored by Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Ron Wyden of Oregon, would require marking converters with a traceable identification number. It also would establish converter thefts as a criminal offense.
The bill is in response to nationwide thefts of the devices. The measure’s provisions are designed to assist law enforcement.
As Klobuchar said Feb. 2: “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.” She is a member of the commerce committee on trucking policy.
Klobuchar (left) and Wyden. (Mariam Zuhaib/Associated Press)
“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,” added Wyden, chairman of the finance committee on tax policy.
Specifically, the PART Act would require an identification number stamped onto the converter of new vehicles. The bill also would establish enforceability of laws around the theft of a catalytic converter.
To lend bipartisan support to the bill, co-sponsors include Republican Sens. Mike Braun of Indiana and J.D. Vance of Ohio.
“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,” said Braun, a member of the budget committee.
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“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,” Vance added.
The bill’s committee consideration has yet to be scheduled.
Rep. Jim Baird (R-Ind.) led the bipartisan introduction of companion legislation in the U.S. House. “Across the country, millions of Americans are faced with costly repairs to their vehicles thanks to skyrocketing rates of catalytic converter thefts,” said Baird, a member of the agriculture committee. That bill also has yet to be debated in committee.
Excited to re-introduce my bipartisan bill, the PART Act, so that we can deliver substantive solutions to law enforcement dealing with catalytic converter thefts across the country. pic.twitter.com/ss1D76moXy — Congressman Jim Baird (@RepJimBaird) January 31, 2023
Stakeholders endorsing the legislation include the American Truck Dealers, American Trucking Associations, the Automotive Recyclers Association, the National Automatic Merchandising Association, the National Automobile Dealers Association and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
“Consumers across the nation are falling victim to rising catalytic converter theft, leaving them with costly repairs that are often worsened by supply chain woes,” said NADA president and CEO Mike Stanton. “America’s franchised auto dealers urge Congress to pass this important legislation.”
David Glawe, president and chief executive officer of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, affirmed: “There is very little deterrent for thieves who commit these property crimes and, therefore, it is paramount for Congress to take action and make stealing a catalytic converter a felony. Introducing stiffer penalties can deter would-be criminals from committing these acts in the first place.”