Ottawa strengthens vehicle recall laws

You might be surprised to hear this wasn't already the case, Ottawa has brought in new legislation that gives the minister of transport the power to order a vehicle recall.

Transport Canada can also now force manufacturers to pay for repairs and fix a new vehicle before it is sold. The agency has the ability to perform more in-depth vehicle inspections. A fine of up to $200,000 can be imposed against the manufacturer, per violation.

The legislation was first introduced by the Harper government in 2015, after a major recall over malfunctioning air bags.

"It's a step in the right direction," says Brian Patterson of the Ontario Safety League.

He says this will force manufacturers to be more vigilant before putting a vehicle on the market.

"I think they may do a little bit more front-end testing," Patterson says. "And it creates a legal framework to attack a dealer if they don't do what they were asked to do."

He adds, though, that there is still something missing on the repair side - making sure defective parts are replaced or fixed in a timely manner.

"I think that might be the next step," he says. "If the vehicle cannot be repaired within 30 days, then they should be required to provide a replacement."