NewsContact Denver7


Colorado theft victims wait months for Toyota catalytic converter replacement parts

Toyota increasing production of parts to meet demand 'over time'
Posted at 4:26 PM, Jul 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-01 08:10:04-04

DENVER — Catalytic converter theft is a long-term problem in Colorado, but for some car owners who have to deal with the crime, finding replacement parts is becoming a months-long battle that leaves them without a car and with no recourse.

"It's a 2011 Toyota Prius, and we've had it for 12 years now," said Anthony Whitehouse, who found out the hard way that the Prius is one of the most targeted models for catalytic converter thieves.

"I had no idea until this all happened," said Whitehouse. "It's been a very reliable car up until when the catalytic converter was stolen."

His car's catalytic converter was stolen in January, so he went to Pearl Street Garage in Denver for repairs.

Jason Fluss, the general manager, ordered the parts from Toyota, and the wait began. Month after month, Toyota reported the parts were delayed.

"Toyota has been just a nightmare trying to get parts for these," Fluss said. "When they were first getting stolen, we were going two weeks, three weeks, maybe a month to get parts. And then it's just been the domino effect of getting stolen more frequently, being back ordered for longer and longer and longer."

Fluss now recommends all Prius owners buy a catalytic converter shield to protect their car and prevent what could be months without their cars.

Emails show that Whitehouse even contacted Toyota directly, but the delivery date is now estimated for mid-August.

"We will be without the car for seven months. Of course, we're still paying insurance and registration. You can't sell it. You can't drive it," said Whitehouse. "Finally someone from Toyota parts delayed department investigated it and got back to me and basically said, 'There's nothing we can do about it.'"

Contact Denver7 reached out to Toyota, and Ed Hellwig, a spokesman, sent a statement, in part, acknowledging the delays:

"Toyota recognizes the inconvenience and impact these thefts and replacement part wait times have on our customers.  Thus, Toyota has been actively working with our supplier to increase production and expedite part shipments of the catalytic converter assemblies. In early April, an additional production line for this component was added at our supplier, which has nearly tripled the production capacity. The increased production capacity, over time, is expected to significantly reduce the backlog and wait for our customers."

But Whitehouse questions whether Toyota could be doing more for its customers.

"Toyota is a huge manufacturing company worldwide," he said. "I'm sure that if they prioritize getting these catalytic converters, for the cars that are out there, they could make more of them faster."

In some respects, it's already too late for Whitehouse, who qualified for Colorado's Catalytic Converter Assistance Program but missed the deadline for repairs because the parts still have not arrived.

"I hope also that by raising some awareness of the problem, it will get solved sooner — not just for me — for everyone that's in this situation," he said.

Editor's note: Denver7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need we can address or have a story idea for our consumer investigation team to pursue, please email us at or call (303) 832-7777. Find more Contact Denver7 stories here. You can also use the form below to request help from Jaclyn Allen and the Contact Denver7 Team.


Need help with a consumer problem? Send it to Jaclyn Allen and the Denver7 Investigates team.
Use the form below to send us a comment or story idea to the Denver7 Investigates Team. You can also email or call our newsroom at 303-832-0200.