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New proposed law to give Canada more power over recalls

New proposed law to give Canada more power over recalls

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A new bill is currently in the Senate that proposes to give Canada much more power over vehicle recalls. It is cunningly named ‘Bill S-2, An Act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act.’ It seeks to give the government much more power over recalls, notifications and more.

The Automobile Protection Association (APA) and the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) have both lobbied long and hard to strengthen our own legislation regarding the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Now it seems that lobbying is bearing fruit. The bill is sitting before the Canadian Senate Transport and Communications Committee and will be voted on soon.

Going our own way
The current system regarding recalls uses the American way of doing things. An automaker only has to send you a letter through the mail telling you that the car you are driving in is potentially defective. While our mail system is very good, it is hardly fool proof and doesn’t take into account the many ways a letter doesn’t get into the right hands.

The changes proposed in Bill S-2 include:

  • To mandate that manufacturers provide a means for consumers to look up recall information.
  • To make dealerships check for recalls when they service vehicles. (Car Nation Canada already does this).
  • The ability to fine automakers or take them to court if they delay recalls or do not notify owners.
  • To nominate a Transport Canada monitor to work inside the automaker to ensure improvements.
  • New powers for Transport Canada to initiate recalls if automakers won’t.

Working with the American system has worked okay so far but it is way past time that Canada got its own teeth. Sure, the American system is better funded, has more power and more influence but we don’t know what the future holds down south. It is high time we took care of our own business and this is a good start.

As noted above, one of the new proposals is to make dealers perform recall checks. All Car Nation Canada vehicle servicing includes this check already. We think it is an essential safety aspect and something we have done for a while. We automatically check for any recall notices on all cars booked in for a service and carry out any warranty work as necessary. While we welcome the proposed change in the law, it won’t make any difference to our customers as we do it anyway.

I hope this new law passes and that we continue to hold manufacturers of all kinds of goods responsible for quality and safety. It’s a good move and one that has been too long in the making.

Categories: News