How Colorado Hopes to Eliminate Costly Catalytic Converter Thefts

Hundreds of thieves are in Colorado converting catalytic converters into cash, leaving the car owner with a “surprise” repair bill of over $2,000.

Few people know what a catalytic converter “exactly” is or does; if asked, I would say “it’s for reducing emissions, it’s for the environment”, and that’s basically true. That’s less “bad exhaust” from your gasoline/diesel engine polluting our air.

CBS4 Denver reports that over 2,000 catalytic converters were stolen in the city of Denver in 2021. That’s a lot of cars that need to be replaced. It used to cost around $900, but new regulations have made them twice as expensive in the last two years, so you’d be costing around $2,000 for a new one.

Without a doubt, if that happened to me, I would be furious. I have enough problems with my car, things I need to fix, without a “mandatory” $2,000 bill out of nowhere. The converter must be replaced, because without it the noise is unbearable.

Why are catalytic converters stolen?

  • Some resell the converters.
  • Most try to sell the precious metals (platinum, rhodium) on the black market.

So now there’s a bill in the state legislature to do at least a couple of things to reduce those thefts.

  • Put platinum and rhodium on the list of “base metals” like gold and silver, so that they are regulated. Regulating things makes them harder to sell.
  • Make it illegal to sell, resell, install any catalytic converter that has not been certified by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Thing is, I appreciate that they’re trying to find a way to stop the thefts, but it looks to me like the thieves are going to find a way to keep making money off the converters. Maybe I’m just a cynic. I wish Bill good luck, because just by writing this article, I feel like I have increased the chances of my converter being stolen.

Get more on the bill from CBS4 Denver HERE.

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