The rise of catalytic converter thefts has alarmed both consumers and
law enforcement alike.
In 2020 alone, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported over 1200
converter thefts a month.
But a new Tennessee consumer law hopes to change that.
“This law is designed to put the brakes on catalytic converter thefts
and to reduce the headaches of consumers and to essentially reduce
what they would have to spend on replacing their cars or repairing
TCDI’s Kevin Walters says that the devices contain precious metals
that thieves hope to flip for a quick buck, and can leave long-term
consequences like hikes in car insurance.
“We think this law is one of the strongest laws in the country. We
think this law is going to dramatically decrease the number of
catalytic converter thefts, and we think that scrap metal dealers are
on board with this.”
The new law also indicates that anyone hoping to purchase a detached
catalytic converter must register with TDCI’s scrap metal registration
“You provide a state or federally issued photo ID with an address,
thumbprint. You submit an application and you pay the appropriate fee
so we have a record of who you are.”
Walters also says that the law, effective July 1, will ban the online
selling of the converters.
“If you’re going to be selling them, you have to sell them at a fixed
site, a location, and not on the fly.”
The full text of that law can be found here.