Recent achievements and problems in the development of exhaust control devices in the USA are reviewed. To meet the 1976 emission standards, catalytic systems for the oxidation of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons and for the reduction of nitrogen oxides to nitrogen and water are needed. While oxidizing catalysts using platinum, palladium, copper, vanadium, and chromium appplied on alumina or ceramic materials are more or less effective in emission control, there are no catalytic devices for the reduction of nitrogen oxides with the required useful life of 25,000 to 50,000 miles as yet available. In the case of platinum catalysts on monolithic supports, the operating temperature of 650 to 750/sup 0/C as required for the oxidation process may cause inactivation of the catalysts and fusion of the support material. The oxidation of CO and hydrocarbons is inhibited by high concentrations of CO, nitric oxide, and hydrocarbons. The use of catalytic converters requires the use of lead-free or low-lead gasoline. The nitrogen oxides conversion efficiency is considerably influenced by the oxygen-to-CO ratio of the exhaust gas, which makes limitation of this ratio necessary.