Transport Canada is responsible for regulating the safety of the newly manufactured vehicles that are sold in Canada. However, the safety of the vehicles that travel Canada’s roadways on a daily basis also rests with vehicle owners, which include individual Canadians, as well as fleet operators, car rental companies, and used car dealerships. Vehicle owners have a responsibility, not only for their own personal safety, but for that of the drivers of their vehicles, their passengers, any subsequent owners, and other road users.
Although Transport Canada does not regulate the actions of vehicle owners, we urge them to have any recall repairs that may apply to their passenger cars, multi-purpose passenger vehicles, and trucks carried out as soon as possible after receiving notification of a defect from the manufacturer.
According to the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, motor vehicle manufacturers are responsible for notifying vehicle owners when a safety-related defect has been identified in one or more of their vehicle models. This notification must be in the form of a Notice of Safety Defect, which is also referred to as a recall notice and which must contain three pieces of information. The Notice must describe the defect, present an evaluation of the safety risk arising from it, and provide directions on how the defect can be corrected. Usually, the correction consists of a repair that is carried out free of charge by the vehicle manufacturer.
Notification of Owners by Vehicle Manufacturers
Vehicle manufacturers obtain the names and addresses of the owners of their vehicles from two main sources. For newer vehicles, manufacturers use buyer warranty registrations. For older vehicles, whose owners may have moved or that may have been resold, companies rely on provincial motor vehicle registration records. In order to make it as easy as possible for a company to contact you, we recommend that, when moving, you inform the manufacturer of your vehicle of your new address. When purchasing a used vehicle, we urge you to register it with the manufacturer, by contacting either the company itself or one of its authorized dealers. In so doing, you can ensure that you will be notified promptly of any recall notices that may be issued in the future.
Check Regularly Whether Your Vehicle Is Subject to a Recall
Transport Canada maintains an on-line database of vehicle recall notices, which go back as far as the 1970 model year. Make a habit of consulting the Road Safety Recalls Database regularly.
When Buying a Used Vehicle
Before buying a used vehicle, check to see if any recalls apply to it by consulting the Road Safety Recalls Database. In order to confirm whether any recalls that have been issued for your vehicle model apply to your particular vehicle or to find out whether the repairs have been carried out, you can contact the nearest authorized dealer. Using the vehicle identification number (VIN), the dealer will consult the manufacturer’s database of recalls and tell you whether the vehicle that you are about to buy is subject to any outstanding repairs. If so, you can ask the seller to have them carried out before you take possession.
Do Your Part for Road Safety by:
- Having your recalled vehicle repaired as soon as possible after receiving notification of a defect and following any interim instructions that may be provided by the manufacturer in the recall notice;
- Checking Transport Canada’s Road Safety Recalls Database regularly for any new recalls that may apply to your personal vehicle, the vehicles in your fleet, or your rental vehicles;
- Registering your used vehicle with the automotive manufacturer in order to ensure that you will receive any new recall notices promptly;
- Informing the vehicle manufacturer of any change in address without delay.
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