Mayor Calls for Federal Recall to Put Brakes on Auto Theft

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown is calling on Federal Transportation Minister Omar Algabra to exercise his authority under section 10.5 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act to order a recall of vehicles that are most susceptible to be stolen because of faulty technology. Most of these vehicles operate with keyless ignitions and locks.

“The surge in auto thefts in the City of Brampton and cities all across Canada is occurring in large part because car makers have created technology that can be easily hacked”, said Brown in advance of a press conference being held at Brampton City Hall.

The hacking process called a “relay attack”, has been documented all across Canada. Thieves use the radio frequency from car keys inside your home to trick your car into opening and starting. Thieves often steal cars with ease, while victims are asleep in their home. “In the old days thieves would hot-wire a car. The federal government mandated immobilizers and thefts dropped dramatically. But now thieves created a workaround and they steal your radio signal before they steal your car, and car thefts have skyrocketed since 2019.”

It is estimated that there are 5 million vehicles in Canada with keyless entry and ignition that are most susceptible to a relay attack. “Not all may need to be recalled but at least the top ten stolen vehicles should be,” said Brown. “You go to bed as a proud car owner, and you wake up as a victim all because car makers won’t give you a $6 item to protect your $60,000 car”, added Brown who thinks every car owner should be given faraday pouches and or offered updated key technology.

“Relay attacks can be prevented and remedied with simple fixes. But car companies have refused to voluntarily recall their cars. It’s time for the federal government to step in and say enough is enough.“ The minister has that authority under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

“The Insurance Bureau of Canada says auto theft costs Canadians more than $1 billion annually. In Brampton we know that this results in higher car insurance premiums.”

“Something has to be done. I am hoping our call to action will inspire other mayors and city councils across Canada to join us in demanding action from the federal government and car makers. This is an urgent and growing safety issue,” said Brown. Residents can join Mayor Brown by signing an online petition at: StopCarTheftNow.com

Mayor Brown was joined by residents of Brampton who have been car theft victims. They held a press conference at Brampton City Hall on Thursday February 16, 2023.

Top Ten Stolen Vehicles in Ontario 2022

  • Lexus RX Series SUV
  • Honda CR-V SUV
  • Ford F150 Series pick-up
  • Toyota Highlander SUV
  • Honda Civic sedan
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport SUV
  • Honda Accord sedan
  • Chevrolet/GMC Silverado/Sierra 1500 Series pick-up
  • RAM 1500 Series pick-up
  • Toyota Tacoma pick-up

Motor Vehicle Safety Act Power to order correction of defect or non-compliance

10.5 The Minister may, by order, require any company that applies a national safety mark to any vehicle or equipment, sells any vehicle or equipment to which a national safety mark has been applied or imports any vehicle or equipment of a class for which standards are prescribed to correct a defect or non-compliance, in accordance with any terms and conditions specified in the order, if a notice of defect or non-compliance has been given and the Minister considers that it is in the interest of safety.

10.51 A company that is subject to an order made under section 10.5 may correct a defect or
noncompliance by doing one of the following:

(a) repairing the vehicle or equipment, including by adding to, removing anything from or modifying
the vehicle or equipment, as the circumstances require;

(b) replacing the vehicle or equipment with a reasonable equivalent;

(c) reimbursing

  • (i) the reasonable cost of repairs to the vehicle or equipment that have already been undertaken before a notice of defect or non-compliance has been given, or
  • (ii) the sale price of the vehicle or equipment, less reasonable deprecia􀆟on in the case where the vehicle or equipment has been sold to the first retail purchaser, on return of the vehicle or equipment.

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