In this article, you will get all information regarding Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise, AAA warns

In this article, you will get all the information regarding Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise, AAA warns

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — After initially spiking during the pandemic, catalytic converter thefts are on the rise across the country again, according to AAA East Central. The motorist membership group reminds car owners to take steps to protect their vehicles and catalytic converters.

The coveted car part changes harmful substances in a car’s exhaust gasses (carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and hydrocarbons) into less harmful substances like carbon dioxide and water vapor with chemical reactions. Two of the three rare earth metals used in catalytic converters, rhodium and palladium, are worth more per ounce than gold, so the earning potential for catalytic converters is high when they are sold to metal scrappers, and sales may not always be tracked by law enforcement.

While almost any car could be a target for catalytic converter thieves, SUVs and fleet vehicles are among the most targeted because they sit higher off the road than a typical vehicle, making it quicker and easier to steal. AAA also warns that Toyota Priuses have been targeted because they have two catalytic converters and have more of the precious metals.

According to AAA, recyclers will typically pay $50 to $250 per catalytic converter, but for the victim of the theft, the cost to replace the part could be between $1,000 to $3,000, and the vehicle may not be legal to drive until the part is replaced.

AAA East Central provided the following tips to prevent catalytic converter theft:

  • When possible, park in well-lit areas and close to building entrances.
  • If you have a garage at your house, park your car inside and keep the garage door shut.
  • If you own a high clearance vehicle like a truck or SUV, store it in a secure location.
  • Have the catalytic converter welded to your car’s frame, which may make it harder to steal.
  • Look into buying a converter-protection device which has been developed for the Prius and other vehicles targeted by thieves.
  • Consider engraving your vehicle identity number (VIN) or license plate number on the catalytic converter. This may help alert a scrap dealer that it was stolen and make it easier to find the owner.
  • Security devices, such as locks, are available that attach to the converter, making it harder to steal.
  • Calibrate your car’s alarm to go off when it detects vibration.
  • Most importantly, carry a good insurance policy. Most insurance companies cover catalytic converter replacement costs if the vehicle owner has the optional comprehensive coverage, which covers damage to a vehicle not caused by a crash.

Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise, AAA warns

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