Law:Motor Vehicle Safety Act

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S.c. 1993, c. 16

Assented to 1993-05-06

An Act to regulate the manufacture and importation of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment to reduce the risk of death, injury and damage to property and the environment

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:


Contents

Short Title

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.


Interpretation

Definitions

2. In this Act,

“company”

« entreprise »

“company” means a person

(a) who is engaged in the business of manufacturing vehicles or equipment in Canada,

(b) who is engaged in the business of selling to other persons, for the purpose of resale by those persons, vehicles or equipment obtained directly from a person described in paragraph (a) or the agent of such a person, or

(c) who imports a vehicle or article of equipment into Canada for the purpose of sale;

“equipment”

« équipement »

“equipment” means any equipment set out in Schedule I that is designed for use in or on a vehicle;

“inspector”

« inspecteur »

“inspector” means a person designated as an automotive inspector pursuant to section 14;

“manufacture”

« fabrication » ou « construction »

“manufacture”, in relation to a vehicle, includes any process of assembling or altering the vehicle prior to its sale to the first retail purchaser;

“Minister”

« ministre »

“Minister” means the Minister of Transport;

“national safety mark”

« marque nationale de sécurité »

“national safety mark” means the expression “Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard” or “Norme de sécurité des véhicules automobiles du Canada”, the abbreviation “CMVSS” or “NSVAC”, or the symbol set out in Schedule II;

“prescribed”

Version anglaise seulement“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made under section 11;

“sell”

« vente »

“sell” includes to offer for sale or lease, have in possession for sale or lease or deliver for sale or lease;

“standard”

« norme »

“standard” means a standard that governs the design, construction, functioning or marking of vehicle or equipment for the purpose of reducing the risk of death, injury or property damage from vehicle use;

“vehicle”

« véhicule »

“vehicle” means any vehicle that is capable of being driven or drawn on roads by any means other than muscular power exclusively, but does not include any vehicle designed to run exclusively on rails.

1993, c. 16, s. 2; 1999, c. 33, s. 350.


National Safety Marks

National trade-marks

3. (1) The national safety marks are hereby declared to be national trade-marks and, except as provided in this Act, the exclusive property in and right to the use of those marks are vested in Her Majesty in right of Canada.

Use of marks

(2) A company authorized by the Minister in the prescribed manner may, subject to the provisions of this Act, apply a national safety mark, in the prescribed form and manner and on the prescribed place, to a vehicle or equipment of a prescribed class.

Prohibition

(3) No person shall use a national safety mark except as authorized by this Act.

Confusing marks

(4) No person shall use a mark other than a national safety mark in such a manner that it is likely to be mistaken for a national safety mark.

Interprovincial shipments

4. Except as otherwise provided by the regulations, no company shall ship from one province to another, or deliver to any person for the purpose of being so shipped, any vehicle or equipment of a prescribed class manufactured in Canada unless it has a national safety mark applied to it in accordance with section 3.


Vehicle And Equipment Standards

Compliance by companies

5. (1) No company shall apply a national safety mark to any vehicle or equipment, sell any vehicle or equipment to which a national safety mark has been applied, or import into Canada any vehicle or equipment of a prescribed class unless

(a) the vehicle or equipment conforms to the standards prescribed for vehicles or equipment of its class at the time the main assembly of the vehicle was completed or the equipment was manufactured;

(b) evidence of such conformity has been obtained and produced in the prescribed form and manner or, where the regulations so provide, in a form and manner satisfactory to the Minister;

(c)�(Repealed, 1999, c. 33, s. 351)

(d) prescribed information is marked on the vehicle or equipment in the prescribed form and manner and on the prescribed place;

(e) where required by the regulations, prescribed documentation or prescribed accessories accompany the vehicle or equipment;

(f) prescribed information relating to the operation of the vehicle or equipment is disseminated in the prescribed form and manner;

(g) records are maintained and furnished in the prescribed form and manner in relation to the design, manufacture, testing and field performance of the vehicle or equipment, for the purpose of

(i) enabling an inspector to determine whether the vehicle or equipment conforms to all prescribed standards applicable to it, and

(ii) facilitating the identification and analysis of defects referred to in subsection 10(1); and

(h) in the case of equipment, the company maintains a registration system in the prescribed form and manner by which any person who has purchased equipment manufactured, imported or sold by the company and who wishes to be identified may be identified.

Maintenance of records

(2) A person who maintains records referred to in paragraph (1)(g) or a registration system referred to in paragraph (1)(h) shall cause information therein to be retained for the prescribed period.

Time of compliance

(3) Unless otherwise provided by the regulations, a company may apply a national safety mark to, or import into Canada, a vehicle that does not satisfy a requirement of subsection (1) if that requirement is satisfied before the vehicle leaves the possession or control of the company and before the vehicle is presented for registration under the laws of a province.

Certification by foreign agency

(4) Where the regulations so provide in relation to a prescribed standard that corresponds to a prescribed enactment of a foreign government, a vehicle shall be deemed to conform to the standard if a prescribed agency of that government has certified that the vehicle conforms to the enactment as applied by the agency, unless the Minister determines that the vehicle does not conform to that enactment as so applied.

1993, c. 16, s. 5; 1999, c. 33, s. 351.

Compliance by all persons importing vehicles

6. No person shall import into Canada a vehicle of a prescribed class unless the requirements of paragraphs 5(1)(a), (b), (d) and (e) are satisfied in respect of the vehicle.

Exceptions for certain importations

7. (1) Sections 5 and 6 do not apply in respect of the importation of a vehicle or equipment if

(a) the person importing the vehicle or equipment makes a declaration in the prescribed form and manner that the vehicle or equipment will be used in Canada solely for purposes of exhibition, demonstration, evaluation or testing and will remain in Canada for not longer than one year or such other period as the Minister specifies in relation to the vehicle or equipment; or

(b) the vehicle or equipment is being imported exclusively for use by a visitor to Canada or by a person passing through Canada to another country.

Vehicles purchased in United States

(2) Except as otherwise provided by the regulations, a vehicle that has been sold at the retail level in the United States and that fails to satisfy an applicable requirement of section 5 or 6 may be imported into Canada notwithstanding that section if the person importing the vehicle makes a declaration in the prescribed form and manner that, before the vehicle is presented for registration under the laws of a province, the vehicle

(a) will be made to conform to that requirement; and

(b) will be certified in the prescribed form and manner to so conform by such person as may be designated by the regulations.

Change in standard since manufacture

(3) A vehicle that does not conform to a standard prescribed for vehicles of its class at the time of its main assembly may be imported notwithstanding section 5 or 6 if, at the time of its importation, the standard is no longer in effect and

(a) the vehicle conforms to the corresponding standard prescribed for vehicles of its class at that time; or

(b) there is no corresponding standard at that time.

Imported vehicles

(4) A vehicle that is imported into Canada must conform to the standard prescribed for the class of equivalent non-imported vehicle, or made to conform to this standard prior to the presentation for registration under the laws of a province.

Declarations binding

(5) No person who makes a declaration referred to in paragraph (1)(a) or subsection (2) in respect of a vehicle or equipment shall use or dispose of the vehicle or equipment in a manner contrary to the terms of that declaration.

8. (Repealed, 1999, c. 33, s. 352)


Vehicle Exemptions

Exemption from standards

9. (1) On application by a company in the prescribed form, supported by prescribed technical and financial information, the Governor in Council may, by order, grant an exemption for a specified period, subject to any conditions specified in the order, for any model of vehicle manufactured or imported by the company from conformity with any prescribed standard applicable to that model where conformity with that standard would, in the opinion of the Governor in Council,

(a) create substantial financial hardship for the company;

(b) impede the development of new safety features that are equivalent to or superior to those that conform to prescribed standards; or

(c) impede the development of new kinds of vehicles, vehicle systems or components.

Period and extent of exemption

(2) An exemption for a model may be granted for a period not exceeding

(a) three years, where paragraph (1)(a) applies; or

(b) two years, in respect of a stated number of units of that model not exceeding one thousand units, where paragraph (1)(b) or (c) applies.

Conditions for granting exemption

(3) An exemption may not be granted for a model if the exemption would substantially diminish the safe performance of the model or if the company applying for the exemption has not attempted in good faith to bring the model into conformity with all prescribed standards applicable to it.

Idem

(4) An exemption applied for by a company for any period may not be granted on the basis referred to in paragraph (1)(a) where

(a) the world production of vehicles manufactured by the company or by the manufacturer of the model that is the subject of the application exceeded ten thousand vehicles in the twelve month period beginning two years before the beginning of that period; or

(b) the total number of vehicles manufactured for, or imported into, the Canadian market by the company exceeded one thousand vehicles in that twelve month period.

Renewal of exemption

(5) On expiration of the period of an exemption, a new exemption may be granted in accordance with this section.

1993, c. 16, s. 9; 1999, c. 33, s. 353.


Notice Of Safety Defects

Obligation to give notice

10. (1) A company that manufactures, sells or imports any vehicle or equipment of a class for which standards are prescribed shall, on becoming aware of a defect in the design, construction or functioning of the vehicle or equipment that affects or is likely to affect the safety of any person, cause notice of the defect to be given in the prescribed manner to

(a) the Minister;

(b) each person who has obtained such a vehicle or equipment from the company; and

(c) each current owner of such a vehicle or equipment as determined

(i) from any warranty issued by the company with respect to the functioning of the vehicle or equipment that has, to its knowledge, been given, sold or transferred to the current owner,

(ii) in the case of a vehicle, from provincial motor vehicle registration records, or

(iii) in the case of equipment, from a registration system referred to in paragraph 5(1)(h).

Where notice previously given

(2) A company is not required to cause notice to be given of a defect of which notice has already been given under this section by another company that manufactured, sold or imported the vehicle or equipment.

Publication of notice

(3) Where the Minister is satisfied that the name of the current owner of a vehicle or equipment cannot reasonably be determined by a company in accordance with paragraph (1)(c),

(a) the Minister may order the company to give notice of the defect by publication in the prescribed form for a period of five consecutive days in two major daily newspapers in each of the following six regions, namely, the Atlantic provinces, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairie provinces, British Columbia and the Territories, or by dissemination in an alternative medium for such period as the Minister determines; or

(b) the Minister may order that the current owner need not be notified.

Contents of notice

(4) A notice required to be given under subsections (1) and (3) shall contain, in the form and to the extent prescribed, a description of the defect, an evaluation of the safety risk arising from it and directions for correcting it.

Particulars to provincial authorities

(5) Forthwith on receiving any notice under subsection (1), the Minister shall forward full particulars of the notice to the minister or other officer responsible for motor vehicle administration in each province.

Follow-up reports

(6) Every company that causes notice to be given under subsection (1) shall submit a report containing prescribed information respecting the defect and its correction to the Minister in the prescribed form within the prescribed period and quarterly thereafter.

Idem

(7) Unless the Minister otherwise directs, the quarterly reports referred to in subsection (6) shall be submitted for a period of two years after the day on which notice was given under subsection (1).


Regulations

Regulations

11. (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing or providing for anything that by this Act is to be prescribed or provided for by the regulations; and

(b) generally for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act.

Progressive application

(2) Regulations prescribing a standard may be made applicable in respect of a specified proportion of vehicles of any class before those regulations are made applicable in respect of all vehicles of that class.

Publication of proposed regulations

(3) Regulations proposed to be made under this Act shall be published in the Canada Gazette and a reasonable opportunity afforded to interested persons to make representations to the Minister with respect to them.

Exceptions

(4) Subsection (3) does not require the publication of proposed regulations

(a) that have been modified as a result of representations made to the Minister following their previous publication under that subsection; or

(b) that would make no substantive change to existing regulations.

Definition of “technical standards document”

12. (1) In this section, “technical standards document” means a document, published in the prescribed manner by authority of the Minister, that reproduces in the official languages of Canada an enactment of a foreign government with such adaptations of form and reference as will facilitate the incorporation of the enactment under this section.

Incorporation of document

(2) Regulations made under this Act may incorporate by reference a technical standards document as it reads on a prescribed day or as it is amended from time to time following the incorporation by reference, and may extend, qualify or exclude the application of any provision of the document so incorporated.

Publication

(3) No person is required to comply with a provision of a technical standards document incorporated by the regulations until six months after the publication of the provision in the prescribed manner, provided the person continues to comply with any provision for which that provision is substituted.

Expiration

(4) Where regulations incorporate a technical standards document as amended from time to time, those regulations shall specify the day on which they shall expire, which day may not be later than five years after the day on which they come into force.

Document not a statutory instrument

(5) A technical standards document is not a statutory instrument for the purposes of the Statutory Instruments Act.

Interim order

13. (1) Where an enactment of a foreign government corresponds to regulations made under this Act and that enactment is amended by that government or its operation is affected by a decision of a foreign court, the Minister may issue an order, effective for a period not exceeding one year, suspending or modifying the operation of the regulations to the extent that they are inconsistent with the enactment as amended or given effect.

Order not a regulation

(2) An order issued under subsection (1) is not a regulation for the purposes of the Statutory Instruments Act but no person is required to comply with such an order unless it has been published in the Canada Gazette or that person has received actual notice of it.


Inspection

Inspectors

14. (1) The Minister may designate as an automotive inspector any person who, in the Minister’s opinion, is qualified to be so designated.

Certificate of designation

(2) The Minister shall furnish every inspector with a certificate of designation, and on entering any place referred to in subsection 15(1) an inspector shall, on demand from the person in charge of that place, produce the certificate for examination by that person.

Entry by inspectors

15. (1) For the purpose of verifying compliance with this Act, an inspector may at any reasonable time enter any place in which the inspector believes on reasonable grounds there is

(a) any vehicle or equipment of a class for which safety standards have been prescribed that is owned by, or is on the premises of, a company or a consignee of imported vehicles or imported equipment;

(b) any component intended to be used in the manufacture of a vehicle or equipment for which safety standards have been prescribed; or

(c) any record referred to in paragraph 5(1)(g).

Search of premises

(2) An inspector who enters a place pursuant to subsection (1) may examine any vehicle, equipment or component found there, and may open any package or receptacle in that place that the inspector believes on reasonable grounds contains any equipment or component referred to in that subsection.

Production of documents

(3) An inspector may require any person to produce for examination any books, records, reports, test data, shipping bills, bills of lading or other documents or electronically stored data that the inspector believes on reasonable grounds contain any information relevant to the enforcement of this Act or to the identification or analysis of a defect referred to in subsection 10(1), and may make copies of or take extracts from any of them.

Seizure of property

(4) An inspector may seize and, subject to sections 489.1 to 491.2 of the Criminal Code, detain any vehicle, equipment or component described in subsection (1)

(a) by means of which or in relation to which the inspector believes on reasonable grounds this Act has been contravened; or

(b) that the inspector believes on reasonable grounds will afford evidence in respect of a contravention of this Act.

Assistance to inspectors

16. (1) Any person who owns or has charge of a place entered by an inspector pursuant to subsection 15(1) and every person present there shall provide all reasonable assistance in their power to enable the inspector to carry out the inspector’s duties, and shall furnish such information as the inspector reasonably requires for purposes of the administration of this Act.

False statements

(2) No person shall knowingly obstruct or hinder, or make any false or misleading statement either orally or in writing to, an inspector engaged in carrying out functions under this Act.

Interference with seized property

(3) Except with the authorization of an inspector, no person shall remove, alter or otherwise interfere with any vehicle, equipment or component seized by an inspector pursuant to subsection 15(4).


Offences And Punishment

Offence and punishment

17. (1) Every corporation that contravenes any provision of this Act

(a) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars; or

(b) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding one million dollars.

Idem

(2) Every individual who contravenes any provision of this Act

(a) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both; or

(b) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.

Defence where more than one manufacturer

(3) In a prosecution for a contravention of section 4 or subsection 5(1) by a company engaged in the business of assembling or altering vehicles, it is a defence for the company to establish that the contravention occurred as a result of work previously done on a vehicle by another person engaged in the manufacture of the vehicle.

Offence by employee or agent

18. (1) In a prosecution under this Act, it is sufficient proof of an offence to establish that it was committed by an employee or agent of the accused whether or not the employee or agent is identified or has been prosecuted for the offence, unless the accused establishes that the offence was committed without the knowledge or consent of the accused and that the accused exercised all due diligence to prevent its commission.

Time limit

(2) A prosecution by way of summary conviction under this Act may not be instituted later than two years after the time when the subject-matter of the prosecution arose.

Venue

(3) A prosecution under this Act may be instituted, tried and determined by a court in any territorial jurisdiction in which the accused carries on business, regardless of where the subject-matter of the prosecution arose.

Evidence

19. (1) In a prosecution under this Act, evidence that a vehicle or equipment bore a name or mark purporting to be the name or mark of a company engaged in the business of manufacturing, importing or selling vehicles or equipment is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof that the vehicle or equipment was manufactured, imported or sold, as the case may be, by that company.

Idem

(2) In a prosecution under this Act, evidence that a vehicle or equipment bearing a national safety mark was manufactured by a company is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof that the national safety mark was affixed by the company.


Research, Testing And Fees

Powers of Minister

20. (1) The Minister may

(a) conduct such research, studies and evaluations as the Minister considers necessary for the administration and enforcement of this Act;

(b) undertake research and development programs for the study of the impact of vehicles, drivers of vehicles, and streets and highways on road safety, energy conservation and the environment and for the promotion of measures to control that impact;

(c) establish and operate facilities for the testing of vehicles, equipment and components, and acquire test equipment for that purpose;

(d) make the facilities referred to in paragraph (c) and all related materials, parts and services available to any person; and

(e) publish or otherwise disseminate any information relating to the activities of the Minister under this section.

Fees and prices to be charged

(2) The Minister may, by order, determine or establish the manner of determining a fee to be charged for any facility or service made available to any person under paragraph (1)(d), the price to be charged for any material or part referred to in that paragraph, and the terms of payment of fees and prices so charged.

Application of charges

(3) Any amount charged pursuant to subsection (2) may be applied against the cost of making facilities, materials, parts and services available to persons under paragraph (1)(d).

Recovery of charges

(4) Any amount charged pursuant to subsection (2) may be recovered as a debt due to Her Majesty in the Federal Court.

21. (Repealed, 1999, c. 33, s. 354)


Repeals

22. and 23. (Repeals)


Coming Into Force

Coming into force

Schedule I

(Section 2)

Motor Vehicle Equipment

1. Tires

2. Equipment for use in the restraint of children and disabled persons

Schedule Ii

(Section 2)

National Safety Mark


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