Nova Scotia vehicle owners will have likely received a recall notice at one time or another. Auto manufacturers send out these types of announcements, which are also known as a Notice of Safety Defect, when a defect that could compromise safety has been identified in one of their vehicles. The Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires that this notice include a description of the problem, the potential safety consequences of leaving the defect unrepaired and the steps that vehicle owners can take to have the issue remedied. Repairs are usually performed without charge by authorized dealers.
Transport Canada encourages vehicle owners to have necessary safety repairs performed as quickly as possible in order to reduce risks of being involved in an auto accident, and the agency maintains a database of current and previous recalls. While manufacturers can use warranty information to contact the owners of recently purchased vehicles, informing the owners of older vehicles about safety defects can be more challenging.
Carmakers use registration records to track down these owners, but the information is not always reliable. Used-car buyers are encouraged to find out about any outstanding vehicle recalls by checking the Transport Canada database or contacting an authorized dealer. Dealers can enter the vehicle identification number into their computer system to see if any recall repairs are required.
Vehicle owners who do not have necessary safety repairs performed in a timely manner may also be considered negligent if they are involved in an accident. Motorists have a duty of care to other road users, and a personal injury lawyer may check for unresolved safety issues when investigating an accident. A lawyer could then file a lawsuit against drivers who caused injury, loss or damage to others because they failed to address a known dangerous condition.