Recently, a huge increase in thefts of catalytic converters has hit the U.S. Thieves are sliding under cars and trucks and brazenly sawing off converters by the thousands.

Why catalytic converters? Thieves are after the valuable minerals inside the catalytic converters, which are anti-pollution devices. They use precious metals like platinum, rhodium, and palladium to complete this process.

Police departments nationwide have reported a significant spike in the theft of their valuable parts, resulting in non-drivable vehicles and potentially thousands of dollars in repair costs. In fact, St. Joseph County police reported 170 catalytic converters were stolen in just two months this year. Likewise, auto insurance claims related to catalytic converter theft are on the rise as well.

Trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are particularly vulnerable because thieves can easily slide under the vehicle.


How do you know if your catalytic converter has been stolen?

You may not be able to tell your catalytic converter was stolen by looking at your car, but you will know as soon as you start the engine. When the catalytic converter has been removed, your vehicle will make a loud roaring sound that will get louder as you push the gas pedal. Your car might also make a sputtering sound as you change speed, or you’ll notice it’s not driving smoothly.

Fleet owners and individuals not only incur the high cost of repairing their vehicles, but the vehicles are out of operation for a period of time.


How can you reduce the risk of catalytic converter theft?

Consider these tips to help protect your car from catalytic converter theft:

  • Park your vehicle inside a garage whenever possible.
  • Park near well-lit, high traffic areas or building entrances.
  • Have your catalytic converter welded to your car or truck frame, making it harder to steal.
  • Install catalytic converter security devices, such as a “cat strap” or “cat clamp.”
  • Consider engraving your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the catalytic converter, which may help alert a scrap dealer it is stolen and identify the owner.

One of our top priorities is making sure fleet owners and car/truck owners remain protected on and off the road.

For more information on how to protect your vehicle(s) from catalytic converter theft or to learn more about best insuring your fleet or vehicle, contact the Healy Insurance team.

About the Author

John Kersey joined Healy Group in 2003 and has 30 years of experience designing risk management programs for commercial clients. As a risk management advisor, John strives to build strong relationships with his clients and business partners to understand their needs better and provide the best risk management strategies for their unique situations.