March 10, 2005

Anti-theft immobilizing systems to become mandatory in new cars

Ottawa, Ontario – Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre announced yesterday that anti-theft immobilizing systems will become mandatory in all new cars, vans, light trucks and SUVs. The systems assist in preventing the unauthorized use of the vehicle, by preventing its engine from starting.

The amendments to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations will come into effect on September 1, 2007 and will apply to all vehicles built after that date.

“Vehicle theft, and collision-related injuries resulting from thefts, will continue to decrease with the implementation of these regulations,” Lapierre said. “Making anti-theft immobilizing systems mandatory will help increase road safety for Canadians.”

About 80 per cent of all new vehicles on Canadian roads are already equipped with anti-theft immobilization devices. This has resulted in a decrease in the theft of these vehicles. Up until now, the systems have been added voluntarily by manufacturers.

A study conducted in 2002 by the National Committee to Reduce Auto Theft, an initiative supported by several government departments including Transport Canada, showed that between 1999 and 2001, the theft of vehicles by young offenders led to an average of 27 fatalities and 117 injuries each year.

According to Statistics Canada, the rate of motor vehicle theft has more than doubled in the last 20 years. Data shows that more than 170,000 vehicles were stolen in Canada in 2003, a large percentage of them older vehicles without anti-theft devices.

While provincial and territorial governments have jurisdiction for aftermarket additions to motor vehicles, Transport Canada develops standards and regulations for new vehicles manufactured or imported for use in Canada.

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