A bill aimed at greatly reducing the number of catalytic converter thefts in California was approved by the Assembly Transportation Committee on Tuesday, moving it to a crucial Assembly Public Safety Committee vote.

Assembly Bill 2682, authored by Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced), would prohibit all vehicle dealers and retail sellers from selling vehicles equipped with a catalytic converter unless the converter has been engraved or permanently marked with the vehicle identification number (VIN). Besides a few exempted parties, AB 2682 would also prohibit removing, changing, or obscuring the VIN on a converter. For the former offense, the punishment would be an infraction. For the latter offense, it would be a misdemeanor.

Auto mechanics and others who repair vehicles that install or replace converters would also be held responsible for the right VIN of the car being the same on the converter via engraving or marking. Those at smog check stations are also required to check the inside of catalytic converters and let customers know if the VIN is on the converters. A violation of either of these two provisions would also be a misdemeanor.

Read the entire article.  California Globe, by Evan Symon, April 27, 2022