A device for the removal of noxious components from the exhaust gases of an internal combustion engine is described. It consists of a chemical reactor installed in the tail-pipe. Behind the reactor, in the flow direction of the exhaust gases, there is a catalytic temperature sensor whose electrical output is transmitted to an analyzer which provides a signal if the reactor fails. The temperature sensor is situated directly in the waste gas duct or in a branch of the tail-pipe which is supplied with air. There is also another, catalytically inactive, temperature sensor. A failure is signalled (a) if the chemical reactor has failed, and (b) if there is not enough oxygen in the exhaust gas to keep up a chemical reaction.