Canadian automotive recalls hit an all-time high last year with more than eight million vehicles being issued notices. In response to the increasing amount of automotive recalls Transport Canada will introduce legislation in the House of Commons that would provide the government the power to order vehicle recalls, and better protect Canadian motorists.
Lisa Raitt, the Minister of Transport, introduced the Safe Vehicles for Canadians Act on June 3, 2015. The proposed legislation would allow the Minister to order a company to issue a recall and require manufacturers to repair defective vehicles; whereas presently, Transport Canada relies on voluntary actions from automakers. Additionally, the Minister could order manufacturers or importers to pay for these repairs and require that new vehicles be fixed before being sold to the public.
"Because the safety and security of Canadians is my top priority, the decision to recall vehicles cannot rest exclusively in industry's hands. This new legislation will strengthen vehicle recalls in Canada and allow me to protect Canadians by quickly addressing automobile safety issues." Raitt said in an online statement.
The announcement follows the recent recall of more than 1.5 million vehicles in Canada in connection with Japanese car part manufacturer Takata. Takata airbag inflators can explode and send metal fragments into the passenger compartment.
In addition to the ability to order recalls, the new legislation could allow manufacturers and importers to face fines upwards of $200,000 per violation, per day if companies fail to address safety issues quickly enough.
While the legislation isn't expected to pass before this October's federal election, Raitt says she hopes opposition parties would consent and allow the bill to pass through Parliament before it adjourns for the summer. Reports claim that the Liberals and NDP support the principle behind strengthening recall rules, but remain skeptical over the idea of supporting a bill they have yet to see.