Canada: Changes To Transport Canada Notice Requirements For Defects And Non-Compliance: You Will Want To "Recall" These At Some Point

Last Updated: July 31 2019
Article by McCarthy Tétrault MOVES, Tim Lawson, Kosta Kalogiros and Brian Lipson

Most Read Contributor in Canada, August 2019

On July 10, 2019, the Government of Canada's most recent amendments to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations ("MVSR") were published in the Canada Gazette Part II, Vol. 153, No. 14 and came into force by virtue of their publication ("Amendments"). A copy of the Amendments may also be found here.

The Amendments primarily update the notice of defect (i.e., recall) and notice of non-compliance provisions, providing greater clarity and relevant details in the notices. As well, they augment companies' reporting obligations associated with notices of defect or non-compliance.

According to the Government of Canada, the Amendments are intended to:

  • improve the alignment of motor vehicle defect and non-compliance requirements with those of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States;
  • improve motor vehicle safety by making enhanced vehicle safety information available to the federal Minister of Transport ("Minister"), and to vehicle or equipment owners and retailers; and
  • improve departmental oversight of safety defects and of instances of non-compliance with the Regulations.

So, what has changed exactly?

We have briefly set out some, but not all, of the changes and clarifications contained in the Amendments.

Prescribed Person: It's Not a Retail Consumer

In addition to the Minister and current owners, companies have historically been required to provide notice to "prescribed persons," each defined as "the person who obtained the vehicle from the company." Given that some manufacturers own retail dealerships, the "prescribed person" notice requirement invited some ambiguity as to whether original consumer purchasers (in addition to current owners) had to be notified.

The amended MVSR has clarified matters and now expressly notes that the "prescribed person" is a "person, other than the first retail purchaser, who obtained a vehicle from a company." (Our emphasis.)

Notices of Defect: The Devil is in the Details

Companies must now include additional detailed information in notices of defect sent to the Minister, current owners, and prescribed persons impacted by any safety defect.

Under s. 15 of the amended MVSR, notices of defect must now include more information about the defect itself (including its causes, the systems or components affected, the operating conditions or other factors that may cause a malfunction, any warning signs that could arise from the defect, precautions to take, etc.), a description that the defect could cause a crash (if applicable), and a more detailed description of the corrective measures to be taken.

Notices of Defect sent to current owners must now include, verbatim, statutorily prescribed statements such as "This is to inform you that your vehicle may contain a defect that could affect the safety of a person."

While companies may now send notices of defect to current owners and prescribed persons electronically (rather than in hard copy), both paper and electronic notices must include the words "SAFETY", "RECALL", "RAPPEL", and "SÉCURITÉ", either on the envelope used for the notice or in the subject line of any electronic transmission.

As before, companies must inform current owners and prescribed persons of the safety defect as soon as feasible, but no later than 60 days after notifying the Minister. Certain exceptions allow for information to be given when it becomes available – one example being a description of corrective measures to be taken in order to remedy the defect, where such information is not yet available – to allow for initial notices to go out to impacted persons while the safety defect is investigated further.

Notices of Non-Compliance: Going Solo

Prior to the amendments, the MVSR did not contemplate a separate notice process/format for notices in respect of the non-compliance of vehicles or equipment with MVSR requirements. The amended MVSR now contain entirely new notice of non-compliance requirements that are largely similar to notice of defect.

Unlike notices of defect, a company may be exempt from notifying persons other than the Minister if, following a request by the company, the Minister determines that the non-compliance is inconsequential to safety.

Reporting: Keeping Transport Canada in the Loop

Companies were previously expected to provide an initial report to the Minister within 60 days of first notifying the Minister of a safety defect and to provide the Minister with quarterly reports on the status of, among other things, the number of current owners notified and the status of corrective measures.

While companies are still expected to do this, there are a few minor changes:

  • The initial report to the Minister is to be sent within five working days after the company starts sending notices of defect or non-compliance (as applicable) to current owners and prescribed persons;
  • The content of the initial report has been slightly varied, reflecting the Amendments' changes to the MVSR such that more detail is now contained in notices of defect;
  • Companies must now, for a period of five years commencing 60 days after a company first gives notice to the Minister, provide the Minister with copies of any subsequent communications sent to more than one current owner or prescribed person; and
  • Companies' quarterly reports to the Minister are now on a prescribed schedule (i.e., before April 30th for Q1 (January to March), July 30th for Q2 (April to June), October 30th for Q3 (July to September), and January 30th for Q4 (October to December).

In addition to their direct reporting obligations to the Minister, companies must now include in each vehicle's owner's manual instructions information on how the owner can contact Transport Canada in order to report a safety concern relating to the vehicle.

Existing Recalls: To Comply or Not to Comply?

It is not entirely clear how the Amendments might impact pre-existing and ongoing recalls that pre-date their coming into force, and the Amendments do not include transitional provisions or other guidance to that effect. An assessment of the retrospectivity of the Amendments falls outside of the scope of this post, and companies may wish to contact Transport Canada for guidance on current enforcement practice with respect to the Amendments.

To view the original article click here

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions