Madison-based auto shop is looking to help prevent catalytic converter thefts

MADISON, Wis. — One crime, in particular, is on the rise right here in Madison. As of August 10th, MPD says there have been 297 cases of stolen catalytic converters this year. 

Now a local repair shop, NRG Automotive Repair, will swap out your factory-installed catalytic converter for an after-market version, especially if you own a Toyota Prius. Customers then get the profit of selling the original converter, minus the shop’s charge for labor.

Owner Nathan Gregarious says he is offering folks a deal in which he will replace your valuable converter for a much cheaper option, the same model insurance companies would pay him to put on a car that had their original catalytic converter stolen.

“You are walking out the door with 6 to 800 dollars in your pocket and you have a converter on your car which is not worth stealing. It’s worth about 40 dollars if they steal it,” explained NRG owner Nathan Gregorious. 

RELATED: Catalytic converter theft caught on home surveillance camera

Gregarious says the converter he puts on his EPA-compliant in every state except California.

It’s his way of trying to be proactive, but some repair shops say you should think twice before going for it — adding you could end up with a headache down the road.

Other shops in the area disagree with that approach, believing this is a risky option and could end up hurting your car in the long run. 

News 3 Now reached out to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and received this response in regards to the approach being taken by NRG Automotive Repair:

“A repair shop is prohibited from misleading customers, and if a customer reported that this replacement did not work as advertised it may be something DATCP looks into. However, we do not have any record of complaints against NRG Automotive to date,” said Public Information Officer Kevin Hoffman.