Each year, millions of cars have safety-related issues that require a recall notification in accordance with the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act. But many drivers are unaware when their vehicle is affected. Approximately one in six cars on Canadian roads has an outstanding recall.
What is a vehicle recall?
When a defect is identified with a specific make or model of vehicle, the manufacturer will issue a recall to correct the problem. Legislation introduced in 2018 also gives the Minister of Transport the power to order a recall in the event the manufacturer has not taken proper safety measures. In most cases, the manufacturer will cover the repair costs, but it’s the vehicle owner’s responsibility to schedule the repairs and bring their vehicle to a dealership or repair shop for the necessary service.
Some recalls may seem minor in comparison to defects that increase the risk of a crash or injury, but all recalls are issued for the safety of you, your passengers and other drivers.
How do I know if my car has been recalled?
Manufacturers are required to notify owners by mail, but those who have purchased vehicles second-hand may not be on the manufacturer’s mailing list. You can check to see if your vehicle has been recalled by visiting the Motor Vehicle Safety Recalls Database. You will need to enter your make, model and year. Your dealership can also check for pending recalls and schedule any necessary repairs.
Can I buy a car with an open recall?
Beyond ensuring your safety as a driver, it’s important to check the status of a car you’re considering purchasing for potential open recalls. Currently, it’s not mandatory in any province for cars with an open recall to be repaired prior to registration. Recalls do not fall under safety and mechanical inspections.
If you discover that your car has an outstanding recall, get the issue resolved as quickly as possible to reduce your risk. Your safety behind the wheel, and the safety of everyone on the road, is extremely important to us. Check out our distracted driving campaign and share the message so we can all safely share the road.