- The governor of California today signed into law a law that will make it harder for catalytic converter thieves to sell them. Los Angeles Times reported.
- The new law will require sellers of valuable smog-fighting equipment to prove they bought it legally, or face stiff penalties.
- Buyers – typically recyclers or scrap metal dealers – will also have to keep and show records of where they get their catalytic converters.
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation today that provides for tougher penalties for people who illegally buy and sell catalytic converters. Anti-pollution devices are a frequent target for thieves who pry and grab more than 18,026 were declared stolen only in California in 2021 Los Angeles Times reported that the new rules arose out of a pair of bills, one in the California State Senate and one in the state Assembly. Legislation adds $1,000 fine to the first conviction and $2,000 for the second. The law provides for an additional penalty in the form of a temporary suspension from work as a processor. Among the required records will be a written agreement with the seller, records of the amount paid and the number of catalytic converters purchased, and descriptive information such as unique identification numbers or VINs engraved on the parts. Recyclers will be required to keep records for at least two years.
How Car and driver As reported earlier this year, popular car models are the most common targets for catalytic converter theft, including the Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-Series pickups, Honda Accord and CR-V, as well as the Toyota Camry and Prius. This was reported by the insurance company “Savgas” in mid-2021. catalytic converter thefts have increased nearly 293 percent nationwide in the year since the first jump was made when the COVID-19 pandemic began. The insurer ranked California first, which accounted for more than 30 percent of state farm insurance theft claims in 2021. Texas, Minnesota, Washington and Illinois round out the top five, but the problem is nationwide.
Governor Newsom appeared in a video on social media today touting the new protections and explaining to Californians that the catalytic converter is “part of that exhaust system on your car, and it’s full of valuable materials that thieves can resell.” Under the new laws, only dealers who are licensed and have detailed records will be allowed to buy and sell catalytic converters.
Of course, there will always be unscrupulous buyers and sellers who already find a way around the rules, but other states will likely be watching California’s situation with interest and possibly enacting tougher laws of their own. As of this summer, the NICB said, more than 150 pieces of legislation were already at work in the USA
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