Manitoba Minister of Consumer Protection Ron Lemieux will start consultations with the automobile industry on how to address unfixed safety recalls after a CBC investigation revealed more than one in six Manitoba cars have at least one.
Lemieux told CBC he brought his car into the dealership on Thursday for regular maintenance and coincidentally, they told him about an unfixed recall.
"I'm sure it happens to a lot of people that bring their vehicles into a car dealership, but there are a lot of vehicles out there that people may not know there is a recall on it," he said. "I'm thinking that we should should be consulting with the industry."
The CBC investigation ran 50 vehicle identification numbers (VINS) found in mall parking lots through three databases.
Sixteen of the cars came back with at least one open recall, and some owners had no idea.
Recalls included risks of brake lamp problems, airbag malfunctions and ignition key position malfunctions. All of these conditions can increase the likelihood of a crash.
Vehicle history report company CarProof is offering free reports to Manitobans for the next two months.
- Check your car for an unfixed recall on CarProof.com if you are in Manitoba
- Check your car on CARFAX free open recall site
- Check your car on Transport Canada's site
- Check your car on GM's recall site
Winnipegger Sheldon Dyck found about an ignition recall on his used 2004 Honda Pilot after he purchased it.
"This vehicle was sold to me as pretty much like new," he said. "It hasn't seen much wear and tear."
Dyck said he would like to see safety recall information tied to used car purchases.
"Any recalls that are related to safety should be part of the vehicle inspection checklist," he said.
Currently in Manitoba, you can register a vehicle with an unfixed safety recall.
"I was very encouraged, really overjoyed to hear that the minister would take that interest in the issue." said George Iny, director of the Automobile Protection Association.
He said adding more transparency would ideally lead dealers to fix recalls before they sell the car.
"That they're not supposed to sell you a car that could catch fire, or go out of control, or stall," he said. "That would be attended to before the vehicle was retailed."
Lemieux said he's instructed his staff to start consulting with the industry and dealerships so they can gather information to "clean up" the problem," but he wouldn't commit to creating new legislation.
"That's something government falls back on all the time," he said. "You get a better product when you consult with people in the business and that's something we are doing right away. We are getting on it."