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Understanding Vehicle Recalls in Canada

car accident lawyerSince 1993, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act has been in existence in Canada.  This act was put in place to regulate the manufacturing and importation of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment to reduce the risk of death, injury and damage to property and the environment.  It is enforced by Canada’s Ministry of Transportation.  If you suspect that your vehicle has a manufacturer’s defect, you can report it yourself to Transport Canada.  Although vehicle recalls can seem like a nuisance to many drivers, they serve as an important protective measure against preventative accidents.

Just this year, General Motors recalled 8.2 million vehicles, 700,000 of which were being driven in Canada.  The vehicle recalls in Canada was caused by a faulty ignition switch.  According to the information released by the manufacturer, the key could easily by bumped out of the “running” position if the driver accidently made contact with the ignition while driving.  General Motors is aware of at least 3 deaths, 8 injuries, and 7 crashes that accidentally occurred due to this defect. In many cases, the airbags did not deploy on impact because the car had been switched off.  The recall covers a range of models including the Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac Grand Prix and the Cadillac CTS.

If you are in the market for a new (or nearly new) vehicle, you should always do your research to find out if the particular make and model you are interested in has ever been subject to a recall.  There are several ways to find out, but the most reliable source is Transport Canada’s Road Safety Recall Database.

If a vehicle that you already own becomes subject to a recall, the manufacturer is legally obligated to send you a notice in the mail.  Although the law does not require them to cover the cost of the repair, most automotive companies will do so in an effort to maintain good customer service.  If you receive a notice or find out about a recall on the news, contact your dealership to find out about their repair process.  Don’t let the inconvenience of bringing your car to the dealer prevent you from staying safe on the roads.

Safety recalls go beyond a car’s factory parts.  Did you know that you can register to receive recall notices for your child’s car seat as well?  Transport Canada maintains very strict guidelines pertaining to car seat safety.  After all, a car seat’s primary function is to keep your child safe in the event of a collision.  Visit Transport Canada’s Consumer Information Notices Page to find important announcements that apply to specific car seat models.  These announcements can include clarification of installation instructions and incorrect labeling corrections.

Most people switch the tires on their cars every few years.  For this reason, it’s easy to miss a recall on the particular brand of tires that you choose.  Transport Canada advises drivers to take advantage of the registration service provided by each tire manufacturer.  If any issues arise, the manufacturer will inform you, the customer, and give you options to have the potentially defective tires inspected, repaired or replaced.

Don’t allow yourself to become a car accident victim due to a manufacturer’s defect.  Stay safe and stay informed.

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