Auto industry leaders are pressing lawmakers to pass a bill designed to prevent catalytic converter theft, Transportation Today reported.
Twenty industry groups, including the National Automobile Dealers Association, sent a letter to both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate commerce committees urging passage of the Preventing Auto Recycling Theft Act that would require new models’ converters to be stamped with traceable numbers.
The bill would also include a penalty of up to five years in prison for thefts, trafficking sale or known purchase of stolen converters, Transportation Today reported.
Thieves target converters, commonly called “cats,” to sell on the black market.
Thefts of the devices rich in precious metals have soared in recent years. Businesses in the industry have held number-etching events to mark converters as unique with the hope of discouraging thieves. The bipartisan bill now on the table would codify that practice.