The Government of Canada has introduced new legislation to increase Canada’s powers to protect Canadians from vehicle defects.

The proposed legislation – the Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians Act – aims to keep the country’s roads safe, protect Canadian consumers, and would give the Minister power to:

  • order a company to issue a recall;
  • make companies repair a recalled vehicle at no cost to the consumer; and
  • prevent new vehicles from being sold in Canada until they are repaired.

Additional changes include the ability to impose monetary penalties (fines) for violations of the Act and the ability to leverage those fines to require companies to take additional safety action.

The bill was introduced on May 11 in the Senate by Senator Peter Harder. Due to the high volume of legislative items on the House of Commons agenda, the Government of Canada opted to first introduce the bill in the Senate in order to quickly initiate the legislative process. Once approved by the Senate, the bill will be sent to the House of Commons to complete the legislative process.

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said: “Canadians deserve to know the vehicles they use to drive their families around and commute to and from work are safe and defect free. When an issue is discovered and confirmed, Canadians can count on Transport Canada to take swift action and ensure it will be repaired at the manufacturer’s expense.”