Theft of a catalytic converter sidelined the iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in Las Vegas late last week. According to Las Vegas’ 8News Now, the vehicle was in the city for several appearances during Super Bowl weekend and had been parked in a hotel parking lot when thieves stole the part — which is a critical part of the vehicle’s emissions system — on Thursday night. The theft was discovered on Friday morning when crew couldn’t get the 27-foot-long wiener on wheels started for a scheduled 10 a.m. appearance.
The vehicle was towed to a Penske Truck Rental and a temporary part was installed, allowing the Wienermobile to make it to their appearance. According to Joseph Rodriguez, parts administrator for the shop, getting the correct part for the vehicle could take up to two months due to both a rise in the theft of catalytic converters as well as the complexity of the repair.
“It’s a huge problem. It’s been going on for a couple of years now,” he said. “Last summer especially, it was like two to three months to get one. There’s gaskets there that you need to reseal the converter, and then there’s sensors all along that area to regulate the heat and temperature of the system. Those are all gone as well. They tear that apart to get what they want.”
Rodriguez also said it was quite a surprise to get the Wienermobile in his shop.
“A hot dog truck, no way,” he said. “Imagine like a huge hot dog in the middle of your bay. There’s all these other trucks and you got to work on this.”
The impacted Wienermobile is one of six owned by Oscar Mayer that tour the United States.