Defect Investigations and Recalls


An important part of Transport Canada's responsibilities is the enforcement of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, which includes investigating suspected safety-related manufacturing defects. In order for a defect to be considered safety-related, it must have originated at the design, manufacturing or assembly stage, or it must interfere with the safe functioning of the vehicle, tire or child car seat. The defect must also be present in a group of similar vehicles, tires or child car seats, and it must directly endanger the safety of a person, which includes drivers, passengers, the occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. Finally, the problem caused by the defect must occur with little or no warning and not be due to everyday wear and tear, a lack of proper maintenance, or negligence on the part of the owner.

When someone believes that a safety-related defect may be affecting the operation of a vehicle, tire or child car seat, the problem can be reported to the Defect Investigations and Recalls Division. The Defect Investigations Section of the Division documents reported defect complaints and launches investigations, when warranted. The Recalls Section documents recall campaigns, updates the on-line recalls database and monitors recall completion rates.

Stay Informed, Stay Safe!

Unrepaired safety defects can put you, your passengers and other road users at risk. That is why Transport Canada urges you to: 

  • Check the Road Safety Recalls Database to see if your vehicle, child car seat or tires could be subject to a recall.
  • Visit your auto manufacturer’s website to see if you can check the recall status of your vehicle using its 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Register your child car seats with the manufacturer to receive recall information directly.
  • Register your tires with the manufacturer to receive recall information directly.
Questions? Call your manufacturer’s 1-800 number, and ask to speak with the Customer Service Department.

Safety Advisories

Contact Us

To report a suspected safety-related defect or to obtain information about a recall or an investigation, call:

  • 1-800-333-0510 (toll-free in Canada)
  • 819-994-3328 (in the Gatineau-Ottawa area or internationally) 

Our telephone service is available Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time or Eastern Daylight Time, as applicable. After hours, please leave a message and we will return your call the next business day.

To report a suspected safety-related defect electronically, you may also fill in our on-line Defect Complaint Form.

For information on vehicle fuel consumption, please consult the website of the Office of Energy Efficiency at Natural Resources Canada. To make a fuel consumption-related complaint, please write to Natural Resources Canada or call 1-800-387-2000.

For information on those aspects of vehicle emissions that are regulated by the federal government, please consult the website of the Transportation Division of Environment Canada. To make an emissions-related complaint, please write to Environment Canada or call 1-800-668-6767.


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