Équité Association, an industry group dedicated to combatting insurance crime, has called on Transport Canada to revamp the country’s motor vehicle safety regulations to address a national auto theft crisis.
The surge in auto thefts experienced across Canada in recent years has resulted in billions of dollars in losses, the group said in a press release.
Driven by organized crime, the group said the crisis has also turned Canada into a “source country for stolen vehicles which are frequently trafficked to finance and carry out other criminal activities.”
According to Équité Association’s Bryan Gast, criminals have been able to do this due to outdated theft prevention standards in Canada’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations.
“Back in 2007, when those standards were adopted, considerations were not given to push button start vehicles,” said Gast, vice president of the group’s investigative services division.
“Criminals are now taking advantage of the outdated standards. They can quickly and easily exploit these vulnerabilities, which has led to this significant increase in stolen vehicles across Canada.”
Équité Association pointed to a recent document from UL Standards & Engagement (ULSE), which outlined a set of newer standards that Transport Canada could adopt to modernize its approach to vehicle safety.
The group highlighted one requiring manufacturers to install an anti-theft device in new vehicles, adding that these devices should be at most three years to ensure alignment with modern anti-theft technologies.
“With consumers spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new vehicle, they should not be expected to absorb additional costs for an aftermarket immobilizer,” said Terri O'Brien, president and CEO of Équité Association.
“Auto theft is threatening public safety daily. Canadians deserve protection from the organized crime syndicates behind this drastic increase in auto theft and the reassurance that their vehicle is not at risk due to outdated standards.”
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