Preliminary Determination - 2012 - 2014 Fiat 500 and 500c with Automatic Transmission

NOTICE

The Minister of Transport has made a preliminary determination that it is in the interest of safety to order Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Canada Inc. to issue a notice of non-compliance to owners of Fiat 500 and 500c vehicles of model years 2012 to 2014, equipped with an automatic transmission. 

The current Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) 108 requires the backup lights to light up when the driver turns on the ignition switch and puts the vehicle in reverse.

This notice explains events leading to today’s action and Transport Canada’s authority to make this order.

BACKGROUND EVENTS

  1. Transport Canada experts examined several Fiat 500 vehicles of model years 2012 to 2014, and confirmed that the backup lights of models equipped with an automatic transmission exhibit a notable delay between the driver putting the car in reverse and the backup lamps coming on.
  2. The Motor Vehicle Safety Directorate believes this delay violates the regulations, namely CMVSS 108 requirements. Transport Canada communicated its concerns to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Canada Inc., who believe the delay is acceptable under the wording of CMVSS 108.
  3. Transport Canada then:
    • purchased and tested a 2014 Fiat 500. During testing,
      • the distance travelled in reverse before the backup lights came on varied between 35 and 46 cm at idle, and between 115 and 120 cm at the maximum governed RPM. 
      • the average delay between putting the car in reverse and having the backup lights come on was between 1.70 and 1.73 seconds. 
    1. These results further confirmed to Transport Canada that the Fiat 500 models equipped with an automatic transmission do not comply with CMVSS 108 requirements. SAEJ593c (Feb 1968), which is incorporated by reference in CMVSS 108, states that “the Backup lamps shall  be illuminated when the ignition switch is energized and reverse gear is engaged”.

Why this is important

Backup lights help drivers see the road behind their vehicle and warn pedestrians and other drivers when the vehicle is backing up or is about to back up.

The Minister of Transport has made a preliminary determination that:

  • this non-compliance poses a safety risk to pedestrians crossing behind the vehicle; and
  • it is in the interest of safety for FCA Canada Inc. to notify owners that the backup lights of 2012 to 2014 Fiat 500 and 500c vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission do not meet CMVSS 108 requirements.

NEXT STEPS

We invite public comments or additional information the Minister should take into account in making a final decision.

Based on all of the information the Minister has, including public comments, the Minister may decide that it is in the interest of safety to issue an order under s.10.1(7) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This new section came into force May 15, 2015.

DATES

Please submit your comments by August 6, 2015.

ADDRESSES

You may submit your comments to by email at :mvs-sa@tc.gc.ca

Preliminary Determination - 2012 - 2014 Fiat 500 and 500c with Automatic Transmission - Video

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