Government could Legally Force Car Manufacturers into Vehicle Recalls

Published: May 12, 2016

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The federal government has announced changes to vehicle recall laws, essentially cracking down on manufacturers and making them legally obliged to recall faulty vehicles and parts. The proposed changes are part of the Liberal government’s wider vehicle safety laws and the state is looking to take back power from manufacturers.

Under the law, the government would be able to order car companies to recall vehicles and fix known issues, without the consumer incurring a cost. Of course, this would only be in instances where a fault has been discovered at production level and is the fault of the manufacturer.

To ensure companies comply with the changes, authorities would be able to hand out fines against manufacturers who ignore the law. The government says the fines would be employed on a sliding scale, with higher fines depending on severity.

At the moment the government is unable to legally push companies to recall vehicles and can only publically name manufacturers, models, and known issues in a bid to shame companies into recalls. The new bill would give the Liberals more control and power in the Canadian automotive industry, and arguably give consumers more protection.

Interestingly, the proposed bull is the first the government has introduced in the Senate since taking office late last year, avoiding the House of Commons which is backlogged with legislation. Admittedly, the bill still has a long way to go as any opposition in the Senate would mean the government has no room for maneuver.

However, there is potential for cross party support as the Conservative introduced a similar bill in June last year, but it was not debated before the elections voted the Liberals into office.