Frequent Questions

I just bought a used car and discovered the catalytic converter is missing. Is that legal?

Removing a catalytic converter without replacing it is illegal under the federal law (42 USC 7522, 3 pp, 156K, About PDF). Vehicles without properly functioning emission controls emit high levels of pollution.

The resale of a vehicle which has already had the catalytic converter removed is not specifically addressed by federal law. Therefore, the person who removed the converter violated federal law, but not necessarily the person who sold the vehicle. State or local laws, however, may cover the sale of vehicles that have had the emission control system removed, disabled, or tampered with.

Additional Information:

See also: How can I find out if the replacement of a part of my vehicle is covered under an emissions warranty?

For more information, contact the EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ).

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