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What is The Typical Wait Time for A Replacement Catalytic Converter?

July 14th, 2023

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For drivers who just had their catalytic converter stolen or car owners who are researching replacement catalytic converters for their truck, car, or SUV, the wait time for a new or replacement cat may shock you. With catalytic converter crimes at an all-time high since the beginning of the global pandemic, high demand for these car exhaust pieces may mean a long and grueling wait for car owners.

Why Thieves are Targeting Your Car's Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converters have become valuable targets for thieves in America due to the precious metals they contain, such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium. These metals have seen a significant increase in value over the years, making catalytic converters an attractive item to steal and sell for a quick profit. The rising crime rate for catalytic converter thefts since 2020 can be attributed to several factors.

Firstly, the increased value of precious metals has made the theft of catalytic converters a lucrative venture for criminals. As the demand for these metals in various industries, including automotive and electronics, continues to grow, their prices have soared. This has created a strong incentive for thieves to target vehicles and extract the catalytic converters for their valuable contents. Secondly, the design and accessibility of catalytic converters contribute to their vulnerability. These emission control devices are located underneath vehicles, making them relatively easy to access with basic tools. Moreover, the theft can be accomplished quickly, often within minutes, allowing thieves to make a swift getaway. The relative ease and speed of the crime make it an appealing option for opportunistic criminals.

Another factor driving the rise in catalytic converter thefts is the lack of identification and regulation. States have stepped up their game when it comes to legislation making it harder for thieves to steal and resell a catalytic converter, but there are still loopholes that criminals can exploit. The lack of standardized regulations and tracking mechanisms makes it easier for thieves to sell stolen catalytic converters to scrap yards or illicit buyers without raising suspicion.

How Long Does it Take to Receive a New Catalytic Converter?

With catalytic converters going missing all over the country, it truly depends on your car manufacturer, insurance type, and the regional supply chain. Some areas may have a replacement catalytic converter for a normal commuter car in just a few weeks. However, if you drive a large truck or hybrid vehicle, you could be waiting months for a new catalytic converter. In California, Toyota Prius were told it could take months for a replacement catalytic converter to arrive for installation. This is also due to the nature of this Toyota Hybrid having two converter bodies, which mean twice the amount of expensive metal components inside. On average, victims waiting for a replacement catalytic converter could take 3 to 6 months. This becomes pricey for drivers who have to rent a car or risk paying fines for driving without an attached catalytic converter.

Combatting Catalytic Converter Theft the Right Way

To combat catalytic converter theft, several measures can be taken. Increased public awareness and education about the issue can help you as a vehicle owner take preventive measures such as parking in well-lit areas, using security devices, or installing protective shields on their catalytic converters.

Authorities have also begun to work towards implementing stricter regulations and standardized identification systems to track the sale and purchase of catalytic converters. However, there continues to be catalytic converter theft rings being busted left and right all over the country. In recent news, a car towing company was busted for stealing the exhaust parts off the car's they towed leading to a $1 million+ bust.

The unfortunate truth is that your vehicle, if parked outside, is always at risk for having the catalytic converter stolen from the undercarriage. In today's world, the everyday citizen has to remain one step ahead of the criminal element that exists all around us. A catalytic converter shield guard is a for sure way to stop a thief who ends up sliding beneath your car with a saw. Cat Security guards keep your undercarriage protected against thieves as well as road debris and finding what fits your model best has never been easier.