Catalytic converter theft now is getting attention on Capitol Hill.
The National Automobile Dealers Association, joined by 12 industry partners, sent a letter on Monday to U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) in support of H.R. 6394, a bipartisan bill to combat rising catalytic convertor theft in the U.S.
According to an NADA news release, the “Preventing Auto Recycling Theft (PART) Act” is the first congressional proposal to address the growing national problem of catalytic converter thefts, which are costing businesses and vehicle owners millions of dollars annually. CARFAX recently highlighted the top 10 models being impacted.
“Catalytic convertor theft is a major concern for dealers nationwide,” NADA president and chief executive officer Mike Stanton said in the news release. “The PART Act would help deter catalytic converter thefts that are impacting dealerships, fleet businesses and consumers alike.”
Signers of the letter that can be seen via this website included:
• National Automobile Dealers Association
• National Independent Automobile Dealers Association
• American Car Rental Association
• American Truck Dealers
• American Trucking Associations
• Major Cities Chiefs Association
• NAFA Fleet Management Association
• National Automatic Merchandising Association
• National Insurance Crime Bureau
• National Private Truck Council
• National Sheriffs’ Association
• National Tank Truck Carriers
• The National RV Dealers Association
NADA explained catalytic converters are being stolen at increasingly higher rates due to their valuable metals, such as rhodium, platinum and palladium. The association noted stolen catalytic converters can garner anywhere from $20 to $350 on the black market, and the replacement cost to vehicle owners can be as high as $2,500.
At present, NADA acknowledged thefts are hard to combat as catalytic convertors are not easily traceable and can be stolen from unattended vehicles in mass quantities, including at dealership lots.
As the nation observes National Police Week, the organizations that signed the letter urge Congress to pass this legislation that provides a federal framework needed for local law enforcement to combat catalytic convertor thefts.
“Congress must pass H.R. 6394,” NIADA CEO Robert Voltmann said in another news release. “It is a critical piece of legislation to combat catalytic converter theft.
“During Police Week, it’s even more important to highlight how this legislation provides local law enforcement with the necessary support needed to combat rising catalytic converter theft,” Voltmann continued.
The PART Act will require that new vehicles have unique identifying numbers stamped on catalytic converters during assembly, as well as establishes a federal criminal penalty for the theft, sale, trafficking or known purchase of stolen catalytic convertor.
“I cannot overstate the gravity of catalytic convertor theft across the country,” said Scott Lambert, president of the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association (MADA). “Vehicle owners, including dealers and fleet owners, are collectively losing millions of dollars from these thefts, and in light of the global supply chain shortage, it is difficult and extremely costly to replace catalytic convertors.
“I urge Congress to move this issue forward and hold a hearing to explore remedies for the millions of stakeholders impacted,” Lambert went on to say.
Source : AutoFinanceNews