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How to Help Your Customer After Catalytic Converter Theft

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You’ve probably seen catalytic converters in headlines recently. Many people have been coming back to their car, and all of a sudden, the car now makes a roar when it starts and makes an even louder roar as it accelerates. Or, they notice an increase in exhaust fumes or unusual exhaust smells. These are signs the car’s catalytic converter has been stolen. There has been a serious increase in catalytic converter thefts recently. With these thefts, you can expect customers to be coming to your shop for help. In this Tire Review Continental Tire Garage Studio video, we discuss what this means for your shop.

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A stolen catalytic converter can cause many headaches in a shop. Most catalytic converter thefts are covered under the customer’s car insurance policy. But you might have to work with the insurance company to determine if they will cover replacement with original equipment or an aftermarket catalytic converter.

Since the theft and reselling of catalytic converters have become very prevalent, both the customer and installer must sign a statement explaining why the converter was replaced. If the replacement is required by a state or local program, the installer must keep a copy of the statement or order from the program representative. Retain copies of the above invoices and statements for six months and the old converters for 15 days.

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The intent of these procedures is also to ensure the vehicle meets emissions standards. Violating EPA rules is a breach of federal law since non-compliance is likely to increase the amount of pollution coming out of the vehicle. Penalties for violations by individuals, service or repair shops, or fleet operators can be up to $2,500 per violation. Any person who causes a violation could be subject to the same penalty as the technician.

Catalytic converters are a very important component when it comes to a car’s environmental regulation. With these parts being stolen, auto repair shops and tire dealers should take extra steps and care when it comes to handling these issues.

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