New Penalties for Companies Who Violate the Motor Vehicle Safety Act

Trade Update • October 12, 2023

anada announced coming into force regulations allowing Transport Canada to fine persons or companies who violate the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

Fines and Violations

Under the new regulations, penalties (which are similar to fines) can range up to $4,000 for an individual violating the Act, and up to $200,000 for a company. Examples of possible violations that could lead to penalties include:

  • A company or a person importing vehicles, child car seats, or tires that don’t meet Canadian safety standards;
  • A company becoming aware of a safety defect in their products and not issuing a recall promptly, or issuing a recall that fails to adequately fix the problem; or
  • A manufacturer failing to adequately test their products to ensure they meet applicable Canadian safety standards.

Penalties would apply per violation, meaning they could be stacked for multiple violations. For severe violations affecting multiple vehicles, tires, child restraint systems and booster seats, and certain types of equipment for use in the restraint of disabled persons – or those occurring over multiple days – Transport Canada could issue several penalties.

A number of factors will be used to determine the size of the penalty, including the harm or risk posed by the violation and the degree of negligence. Financial penalties are a proven and effective deterrent, and these regulations will help make our roads safer for all Canadians.


“The Motor Vehicle Safety Act plays an important role in ensuring that our roads are safe. With these new penalties, we’re taking action to deter non-compliance. We’ll continue to work to improve safety for Canadians.”

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • The Motor Vehicle Safety Act regulates the manufacture and importation of vehicles, tires, child car seats, booster seats and certain types of equipment for use in the restraint of disabled persons.
  • Coming-into-force for the new fines took place on October 3, 2023
  • The ability to fine, also known as an administrative monetary penalty, stems from the Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians Act, which grants the Minister of Transport and Transport Canada powers to help keep Canadian roads safe.
  • Administrative monetary penalties are an additional enforcement tool to support compliance with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
  • These new regulations bring road transportation enforcement in line with the rail, marine, and aviation sectors, which can already issue administrative monetary penalties.
  • Prior to establishing this proposal, Transport Canada carried out extensive consultation on these measures with industry and Canadians via its “Let’s Talk Transportation” forum.
  • These penalties complement other actions that have been made to improve road safety, which include giving the Minister of Transport the ability to order a company to:
    • Recall defective or non-compliant vehicles, tires, child restraint systems or booster seats;
    • Pay the costs associated with correcting defects or non-compliance in these products; and,
    • Prevent recalled products from being sold to Canadians before corrections are made.

Questions about the these new regulations, violations and/or penalities? We are always here to help, contact us.


Stay in the loop, stay compliant! Get weekly or daily insights into all things trade and event invites, delivered right to your inbox.