Catalytic Converter

I thought I heard on Car Talk, just a brief mention, that opening a catalytic converter for any reason not just the platinum is a federal offense and there is a $10K fine if the person who did it is reported. In our case it is a truck service garage where my husband, in an emergency, had to have his car worked on. Does someone know if this true and if so, where can I find something in writing to document it. Thank you.

I don’t know of such a law. And we take catalytic converters apart for analysis all the time.

Are you sure you’re not confused with the removal of a catalytic converter?


agreed,no law .


This is yet another urban myth. As was already stated, it is illegal to remove a catalytic converter (and to not replace it), but it is not illegal to open one for examination when repairing a vehicle. The devil is in the details.

If what you mean is that the mechanic fixed a plugged catalytic convertor by putting a hole through it, it is in fact a federal offence! Disabling or removing emissions equipment that came with your car is strictly prohibited by the Clean Air Act. However, I doubt the fine is 10,000 (probably a Click and Clack embellishment) and, what’s more, there is no federal agency that actively enforces it so there is zero chance you are going to get caught. Now, some individual states have chosen to enact similar laws and there may be some state penalties associated with intentionally disabling your emissions equipment, though most just won’t give you plates.