Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt yesterday announced she intends to table a bill proposing new rules that would allow the federal government to force auto manufacturers to issue recalls. The move comes as the number of vehicles affected by the Takata airbag recall reaches 1.5 million in Canada alone.

As the law stands now, Transport Canada relies on car manufacturers to issue recalls voluntarily, whereas the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has the power to order vehicle recalls to correct safety-related defects.

“While manufacturers and importers actively issue recalls, the decision cannot rest exclusively in industry’s hands,” Raitt said in a press release. “This new proposed legislation will strengthen oversight of the recall process. This will be a big win for consumers and for the safety of all Canadians.”

Raitt’s proposal comes after a federal budget that included new powers for the Transport Minister to “order recalls and levy administrative penalties;” under Minister Raitt’s proposed legislation, manufacturers would be fined for failing to issue recalls, but the bill doesn’t specify how much those fines would amount to.

The only thing standing in the way of the legislation being passed (other than the opposing parties voting it down in Parliament) is that the House of Commons is soon set to rise for summer break, but Raitt said she believes the bill will be passed before that.

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