To opportunistic criminals, stealing a catalytic converter is a quick way to make a few hundred bucks. And it’s a quickly becoming a serious headache for fleets and dealerships with light-duty trucks. The clearance under pickup trucks provides better access to the intended target, making the component easier to steal. When this happens, the thief might be able to sell the converter to an unscrupulous scrapper for around $300, due to the platinum, palladium, and rhodium inside. The truck’s owner is likely out $1,500 or more. And the truck is inoperable until it gets repaired.
There’s no end to the boldness of these catalytic parasitics, with a whopping 1,200% spike in converter thefts since 2019, based on statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. According to the non-profit, the U.S. had 64,000 reported thefts of the emission devices, with California and Texas accounting for half.
Recently, a a new anti-theft device from Accelerated Solutions Group called Active Cat was released to help quell these crimes in their lots and work sites. The device connects to an engine’s existing knock sensors to recognize high frequency exhaust vibrations, and will sound the vehicle’s security alarm if it detects someone tampering with the catalytic converter, such as by using power tools to cut the component out or remove fasteners. Vehicle owners can also get real-time notifications to alert them to attempted theft.
To avoid false alarms, Active Cat activates only when the ignition is off, and differentiates between routine vibrations and attempted theft. The sensor's sensitivity can also be adjusted. The device does not require any new parts and is available for integration with all OEM’s internal combustion engines, according to ASG
“We are excited to introduce this game-changing technology to the market for the benefit of OEMs, dealers and consumers,” said Gabe Mitchell, President at Accelerated Solutions Group. “Catalytic converter theft is a growing problem, and our Active Cat solution represents a significant enhancement in factory vehicle security options. By utilizing our patent-pending technology, vehicle manufacturers can now seamlessly integrate a more reliable solution to ensure state-of-the-art protection against costly catalytic converter theft.”