BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Assemblymember Vince Fong introduced California Assembly Bill 641 to deter catalytic converter theft and it is set to become a statewide law on Jan. 1, 2024.

Assembly Bill 641 is aimed at cracking down on catalytic converter theft and unlicensed dismantling of converters. The bill secures a “loophole” that prevents charging people found in possession of multiple catalytic converters with a crime, according to state officials.

The bill allows law enforcement to charge people with illegal automobile dismantling when caught with nine or more stolen converters. The misdemeanor fines range from $250 to $1,000 per offense.

The Assembly Bill will not impact those with legitimate reasons for possession of catalytic converters, according to state officials.

In a news release, Assemblymember Vince Fong said:

Thieves continue to steal catalytic converters, while victims foot the bill and must wait for months on end for repairs. Law enforcement needs more tools to hold thieves accountable and protect California motorists.

Vince Fong

Catalytic converter theft costs victims as much as $4,000 in repairs, according to state officials. In 2021, there were 1,600 catalytic converters reported stolen each month.

The Assembly Bill was unanimously signed and will become law on Jan. 1, 2024.