New safety powers granted to protect Canadians from vehicle defects

News Release

Passage of new legislation allows Minister to order vehicle recall

March 12, 2018    Ottawa, ON    Transport Canada

Keeping all Canadians safe on our roads is a priority for the Government of Canada. The Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians Act (Bill S-2), which has just received Royal Assent, is another major step in improving road safety.

This Act provides the Minister of Transport with new powers and the ability to:

  • Order a company to recall a vehicle to correct a defect;  
  • Order a company to pay for the cost of repairs so consumers don’t bear the cost;
  • Order a company to conduct tests on a vehicle and to provide the results back to the Minister;
  • Order a company to fix a new vehicle before it’s sold; and
  • Negotiate a settlement with a company which is alleged to be in violation of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

These powers help protect Canadians by giving the Minister recourse in the event safety actions taken by a company are insufficient.

In addition, the Act gives Transport Canada the ability to:

  • Perform more in depth vehicle inspections in relation to safety concerns; and
  • Allow more flexibility to support innovative technologies, such as connected and automated vehicles.

The Act also paves the way for Transport Canada to impose future administrative monetary penalties (i.e. fines) to manufacturers of up to $200,000, per violation, for any contraventions of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.


“Canadians may be surprised to know that prior to the Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians Act, only a manufacturer could issue a vehicle safety recall in Canada. This legislation allows the government to proactively issue safety recalls in the interest of Canadians.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau,
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

  • Previously, only manufacturers could order a safety recall in Canada. While manufacturers retain this ability, the Minister can now take action should they fail to do so in the interest of public safety.

  • The Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians Act builds on previous legislative changes in 2014 that gave the Minister of Transport the ability to order a manufacturer to notify Canadians about safety issues with their vehicles.

  • A cap for administrative monetary penalties will be established during the regulatory development process.

Associated Links


Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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