Catalyst Thefts: Auto Insurance Companies, Native Mechanics Deal With Developments In Automobiles That Are Affected – KXXV Information Channel 25

More and more customers are filing claims for damages with auto insurance companies after learning that the catalytic converter has been cut out of their vehicle's exhaust system.

A State Farm study found it paid out over $ 1 million for over 440 theft claims in Texas alone in 2020.

If that number seems high, that's nothing compared to where we are only in mid-2021.

"In the first half of 2021 alone, we are in 1,380 thefts for $ 2.6 million," said Traci Plemons, State Farm Insurance Agent.

That's three times last year's total, and that's not the only thing they notice. You are also seeing a trend in vehicles being hit.

"The two most common vehicles we see this problem with are the Toyota Tundras and the Toyota Prius," said Plemons.

So it's no wonder that there is a Toyota Tundra without catalysts in the parking lot of Bill’s Muffler Shop in Killeen.

"This little tundra that we have in our parking lot right now, four missing and it's brand new and it was in the dealership when it happened," said James Parish, owner of Bill’s Muffler Shop.

Just like State Farm, Bill's Muffler Shop is seeing more and more customers, sometimes three or more a day, who can realize that something is wrong with their exhaust.

"When a converter is gone, you will know right away. It will go from a nice, quiet vehicle to sound like it belongs on the quarter mile trip," said Parish.

While the staff at Bill & # 39; s Muffler Shop love to be busy, this is not the type of job they want.

They'd rather install protective cages around catalytic converters because they say it's just too easy to steal.

"You can steal them anywhere. You can go in HEB, come out and your converter will sound like a NASCAR. I mean, they're just thieves and need to be stopped," Parish said.

Vehicle thefts are growing rapidly in Texas, so the Agency for Vehicle Crime Prevention has raised $ 13.6 million to law enforcement agencies to help with prevention.

To prevent the crime itself, it's important that you park your vehicle in a well-lit area with the alarm on and, if you can afford it, have a protective cage installed over your car's catalytic converter.

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