Association Heads Coalition of Industry Groups Urging Congress to Act on Bill to Fight Catalytic Converter Theft
Arlington, Texas (May 17, 2022) – The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association led a partnership of automotive and transportation industry associations in drafting a letter to Congress strongly supporting H.R. 6394, the Preventing Auto Recycling Theft (PART) Act, a bill designed to combat the growing national problem of catalytic converter theft.
The National Automobile Dealers Association, American Car Rental Association, American Truck Dealers, American Trucking Associations and National RV Dealers Association are among the 13 organizations that joined NIADA in signing the letter, which was sent to House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and the committee’s ranking Republican, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) on May 16, during National Police Week.
“Congress must pass H.R. 6394,” NIADA CEO Robert Voltmann said. “It is a critical piece of legislation to combat catalytic converter theft.
“During Police Week, it’s even more important to highlight how this legislation provides local law enforcement with the necessary support needed to combat rising catalytic converter theft.”
The letter points out the sharp rise in catalytic converter thefts – up 325 percent in 2020, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and likely surpassing that in 2021 – and notes that replacements can cost victims as much as $2,500.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Jim Baird (R-Ind.), would require new vehicles to have unique, traceable ID numbers stamped on catalytic converters at the time of assembly, as well as creating a grant program to stamp VINs on the catalytic converters of existing vehicles, improving record-keeping standards for purchasers of used catalytic converters and making theft, sale, trafficking or known purchase of a stolen catalytic converter theft a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison.
The bill follows the lead of new laws in 10 states designed to deter catalytic converter theft, but the letter says “a federal framework is needed … because this crime frequently involves trafficking stolen parts across state lines.” The letter closes by urging the House Energy and Commerce Committee “to support and hold a hearing on this bipartisan legislation.”
The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) is among the nation’s largest trade associations, representing the used motor vehicle industry comprised of some 40,000 licensed used car dealers. Since 1946, NIADA has represented the voice and interests of used car dealers at the federal level in Washington D.C. Coupled with its state association network across the country, NIADA’s grass-roots framework provides a dual layer of advocacy unmatched in the used motor vehicle industry. For more than 75 years, NIADA has engineered programs and leveraged technology to fulfill its mission to advance, educate and promote the independent used car dealer. NIADA members subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics of duty, honor and integrity, and believe in the advancement of small business in support of the free-market system. More information about NIADA programs and educational opportunities is available at www.niada.com.