Why are Catalytic Converters such a hot commodity?

Jun 10, 2021

Catalytic converter thefts are all over the news.  Why are they such a hot commodity and what can you do to protect yourself?


A catalytic converter is part of your vehicle’s exhaust system that helps reduce harmful environmental emissions.  It contains some very precious metals:  platinum, rhodium and palladium, all of which make it pretty lucrative for thieves to take to a metal recycler for big bucks.


Thieves can shimmy under a car (the larger, the easier) and cut the part off in less than a minute. 


ICBC’s stats are overwhelming.  The number of claims went up 10-fold over five years, doubling between 2018 and 2019 and then doubling again in 2020.  Last year there were more than 1,500 thefts in our province.


Prevention tactics include parking in a garage or a well lit area with cameras.  See if you can set your car alarm to go off it’s shaken.  Other suggestions are having the VIN engraved on it or affix a metal cover over it (which is also costly).  The best prevention, however, is if everyone is watchful and if they see suspicious people or someone under a car, take all the details and call 911.