CATALYTIC CONVERTER INVESTIGATION

Starting with the 1975 model year, most California light duty vehicles came equipped with the catalytic converter as part of the emission control system. The catlytic converter is installed in the vehicle's exhaust system, upstream of the muffler. It promotes the burning of the hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions from the engine, transforming them into relatively harmless carbon dioxide and water. Heat is generated in this oxidation process. The amount is dependent upon the combustible content of the exhaust gas entering the converter, the nature of the combustion product, and the air supply. With a normally functioning vehicle, the amount of combustible emissions is low and the heat generated, therefore, is relatively low. The harder the converter has to work to oxidize emissions, the hotter it becomes. In early 1975 both industry and government became concerned nationwide over fire incidents allegedly attributed to the catalytic converter. In light of this concern, in June of 1975 a Task Force was established through the Governor's Office to investigate the situation and determine whether a problem does in fact exist.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Copies of this report are available from Phillip C. Favrro, California State Fire Marshal, 7171 Bowling Drive, Suite 800, Sacramento, California 95823.
  • Corporate Authors:

    California Catalytic Converter Investigation Task Force

    Sacramento, CA  USA 
  • Publication Date: 1976-6

Media Info

  • Pagination: 14 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00166381
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 20 2002 12:00AM