A method and system for estimating the midbed temperature of a catalytic converter in an exhaust system of an internal combustion engine. A rate of change in the speed of the engine is sensed and an estimated number of misfires occurring in the engine over a predetermined number of cylinder filling events is determined based on the sensed rate of change in engine speed. An instantaneous temperature of exhaust gas at the exhaust flange is determined based on the estimated rate of misfires. An instantaneous temperature at the midbed point of the catalytic converter is then determined based on the instantaneous temperature of exhaust gas at the exhaust flange. The instantaneous temperature at the midbed point is compared to a predetermined temperature threshold and the estimate rate of misfires is compared to a predetermined misfire rate threshold. A malfunction signal is then generated if both the instantaneous temperature at the midbed point exceeds the predetermined temperature threshold and the estimated rate of misfires exceeds the predetermined misfire rate threshold. A method for monitoring catalyst degradation is also disclosed.
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